NATO Urges End to Putin’s Influence, Calls for Continued Support to Ukraine


NATO’s top military officer asserts that the alliance must persist in arming Ukraine and cease allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to deter its comprehensive support for Kyiv.

Adm. Rob Bauer, chairman of NATO’s Military Committee and military adviser to the secretary-general and the North Atlantic Council, admitted on Friday that the alliance has permitted Putin to “self-deter” the U.S. and its allies from acting in Ukraine’s best interests “many, many times.”

“We’ve often heard Putin or other officials mention ‘red lines’ concerning tanks, HIMARS, or ATACMS,” he remarked during a Washington Post Live event. “Each time, we hesitated before supplying them, only to find that these weren’t actual red lines. Meanwhile, the Russians fortified their defenses in Ukraine.”

“I believe the time has come for us to stop letting Putin self-deter our actions,” Bauer stated.

His remarks coincided with world leaders, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, gathering in France to mark the 80th anniversary of the Allied D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. Recently, President Joe Biden announced a policy shift allowing Ukraine to use U.S. weapons to target Russia, albeit with certain restrictions.

Russian forces, positioned near the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, launched aerial attacks while remaining largely untouched, as Ukraine previously lacked U.S. approval to use American weapons against those targets across the border.

Ukraine remains restricted from striking deeper into Russia, though U.S. officials have hinted these limitations might be revised, but no changes have been implemented yet.

“It’s the right approach. If attacked by a nation initiating an illegal conflict, you have two choices: wait for missiles to hit and then respond, or target the source—the archer—in Russia,” Bauer said about the potential repercussions of permitting Ukrainians to strike within Russian territory.

From a tactical angle, Bauer contended that it benefits a defending military to strike aggressors on their home ground, pushing them back and necessitating operations from more distant locations. This requires longer-range weapons, which Biden has now agreed to supply to Ukraine after initial hesitance.

“In armed conflict law, there’s no range restriction. So, if a militarily significant target is deep within Russia, it should be struck. When Russian aircraft, for instance, take off from far-off airfields, increased Ukrainian range has forced Russian logistical nodes further back, complicating their operations. Moving logistics from, say, 10-15 kilometers to 50-100 kilometers hampers Russian efficiency, aiding the defense,” he added.

Putin, who frequently discusses Russian escalation and their nuclear capabilities, reiterated this threat recently.

“If we see countries being drawn into war against us, their direct involvement in conflict against the Russian Federation will justify our similar response,” he said, according to NBC News. “However, this direction leads to serious complications.”

Ukraine has recently gained additional U.S. support after months of congressional gridlock obstructed further military aid.

“While Ukraine still faces Russian pressure, particularly in the East, receiving benefits from multiple security packages has enabled them to repel Russian advances, especially around Kharkiv,” remarked National Security Council coordinator John Kirby on Friday. “Russian forces have essentially stalled up there.”

“Their advance on Kharkiv is nearly finished,” he concluded.

Mike Brest
Mike Brest
Defense Reporter. Prior to joining the defense beat, he spent two years covering breaking news, and he worked at the Daily Caller in a similar capacity before that. Mike graduated from American University and is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia.

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