US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “that we have neither supported nor enabled” Ukraine’s ongoing campaign of striking Russian infrastructure targets.

Washington’s top diplomat made the comment on Tuesday, April 2 during a joint news conference with his French counterpart Stephane Sejourne in Paris, answering whether such cross-border strikes are the right strategic approach.

In turn, Sejourne addressed the same question by responding: “I will be quite clear and direct as to the strikes by Ukraine against Russian refineries. The Ukrainian people are acting in self-defense, and we consider that Russia is the aggressor.  And in such circumstances, there is hardly anything else to say. I think you understood me.”

Blinken’s chief envoy to NATO in Brussels echoed the American viewpoint on the same day.

Advertisement

“In terms of actually going after targets inside Russia, that is something we are not supportive of,” Julianne Smith, US Ambassador to NATO said at an online news briefing.

All three officials were referring most recently to two overnight strikes on a Russian drone production site and an oil refinery in the Tatarstan region, located some 1,250 kilometers (777 miles) from Ukraine’s nearest border. They were believed to be the longest-range strikes since the February 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine began.

A light UJ-22 airplane, equipped with artificial intelligence capabilities, is believed to have carried out the strikes.

Germany Arrests Two Over Military Base Attack Plot for Russia, Aimed at Undermining Support for Ukraine
Other Topics of Interest

Germany Arrests Two Over Military Base Attack Plot for Russia, Aimed at Undermining Support for Ukraine

The main accused, Dieter S., is alleged to have scouted potential targets for attacks, "including facilities of the US armed forces" stationed in Germany.

Kyiv maintains that such targets are legitimate and are useful as a pre-deployment degradation strategy to limit Russia’s logistical capabilities of attacking Ukraine.

Since the start of the invasion, Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure has sustained billions of dollars worth of damage, leaving population centers razed to rubble and households without power, heat and water.

Most recently, strikes against Ukraine’s second most populous city – Kharkiv – have knocked out “almost all” of its energy infrastructure, Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on April 1.

Advertisement

In doing so, Russia is trying to “create a massive European crisis by making Ukraine uninhabitable,” Anne Applebaum, a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins SNF Agora Institute wrote on social media.

Official in southern Dnipropetrovsk region posted video of Russian devastation

Following a Russian bombardment on April 2 of Dnipro (one of five Ukrainian cities with a pre-February 2022 population of a million or more), Serhiy Lysak, the regional military administration head, published a video showing the ruin that it had caused.

A prestigious college with an athletic program designated as Olympic caliber, a kindergarten, and several businesses were damaged due to aerial strikes that day.

By striking the college “that has trained ‘real sports stars’ for more than 40 years…Russia committed a crime against the most precious thing – our children,” Lysak said on his Telegram channel.

 

Lysak added that 18 civilians suffered injuries caused by the strike, and five children were hospitalized.

He mentioned that the pupils were inside the college during the airborne strikes but all survived because they had followed safety rules.

Advertisement

Lysak thanked the teachers “for their coordinated actions.”

Fifty-five first responders and 11 pieces of equipment were engaged after the attack, the Emergency Services said on its Facebook page.

Invading forces make marginal advances west of Avdiivka

Russian forces recently made confirmed advances southwest and west of Avdiivka, days after Ukrainian forces crushed a massive tank attack near Tonenke, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported.

Geolocated footage shows that elements of the 9th Motorized Rifle Brigade (part of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic Army) have advanced along Haharin Street in Vodyane (southwest of Avdiivka) and reportedly have reached the western outskirts of that town. (Some Russian sources are claiming that invading troops now completely control the town, potentially setting the stage for a new offensive towards Pervomaiske, directly south of Vodyane).

Geolocated footage published over the weekend confirms that Russian forces attempted additional marginal advances west of Tonenke during Moscow’s aforementioned failed Russian battalion-sized mechanized attack.

Special US envoy to Ukraine for economic recovery visits Lviv, touts nation’s IT industry

Advertisement

Special US Representative for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery Penny Pritzker on April 2 visited Lviv in western Ukraine where she made a stop at a budding information-technology cluster that “is creating world-class tech and innovation ecosystem,” she said.

She also met with longtime Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovy, technology entrepreneurs and business representatives, a State Department statement said. Pritzker “also emphasized the role that community-driven recovery will play across the country,” the statement read.

Her mandate after being appointed to the role in September 2023 is to work with the Ukrainian government, the G7, the European Union, international financial institutions, international partners and the American private sector.

The former secretary of commerce traces her roots to the village of Velyki Pritsky outside Kyiv, where her family owned a grain store “before emigrating to the US more than 100 years ago,” according to the State Department.

The Chicago-based billionaire family owns the Hyatt chain of hotels, and Penny Pritzker’s brother, J.B. Pritzker, is the current governor of Illinois.

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Comments (3)

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Doug
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Blinker and Julianne Smith can go home. Their guidance and policy positions will no longer be required if the are that far disconnected from logic and reality.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
David
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Blinken: The US is not to be blamed for anything bad that happens inside Russia. Sejourne: Who cares, they deserve everything they get.
Vive La France.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Beau Bidenish
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Blindly and Biden criticizing how the Ukraine is fighting the war! You can’t make this shit up. If Zelensky doesn’t man up , blindly and Biden will be running the Ukraine like they are running Israel.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png