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Ukraine finally found a way to make Russia suffer. The US seems to want it to stop.

Tom Porter   

Ukraine finally found a way to make Russia suffer. The US seems to want it to stop.
  • A wave of Ukrainian drone strikes left a dent in Russia's oil industry — a rare success.
  • But the US is urging Ukraine to stop them, according to The Financial Times.

Ukraine recently found a Russian weak spot — targeting its oil and gas industry in long-range missile and drone attacks.

The attacks have reduced Russia's oil processing capacity by 7%, Reuters reported, seriously impacting an industry Russia relies on heavily to fund its invasion of Ukraine.

But according to The Financial Times, pushback on the attacks is coming from an unexpected corner: Kyiv's most important ally, the US.

US officials are said to be concerned that the attacks could drive up oil prices and provoke retaliation. They want Ukraine to ease up, per the report.

The audacious attacks, targeting refineries, storage depots, and other sites, badly dented Russia's oil industry.

Oil prices have already increased sharply, bringing wider economic pain. A further increase would diminish President Joe Biden's chances of reelection.

Another concern, the report said, is that Russia could retaliate by targeting energy infrastructure the West relies on, such as the CPC pipeline that transports oil from Kazakhstan to global markets.

It's not the first time Kyiv has clashed with the US over its war strategy.

The US has long been wary of Ukraine hitting targets inside Russia itself, fearing it could provoke retaliation by Russia.

It has banned Ukraine from using US-donated weapons on targets inside Russian territory.

But Kyiv has geared up the production of its own weapons, including long-range attack drones, which aren't subject to that restriction.

Kyiv is using the attacks to hurt Russia deep within its own borders, even as Ukrainian forces struggle to fend off intensifying Russian attacks.

At the same time, it is suffering a severe ammunition shortage caused by Republicans in Congress blocking a $60 billion aid bill.

Russia is fighting hard too — increasing its drone and missile attacks on Ukraine's cities and infrastructure.

Some analysts were puzzled by the White House's logic, questioning whether attacks would truly drive up prices in the US. Others questioned what moral standing the US has to tell Ukraine how to fight the war.

"Absolutely outrageous if/if true. #Ukraine is fighting for its life. US should not be telling Kyiv what targets in #Russia it can or cannot strike with Ukraine's own weapons," wrote Steven Pifer, a former US ambassador to Ukraine.

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