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    Russian Sabotage in Europe: A Familiar Tactic

    In a press briefing on Tuesday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby commented on recent reports of Russian sabotage activities in Europe, emphasizing that such actions are a well-known part of Russia’s repertoire. Kirby stated that the United States is collaborating with European allies to build resilience against these incidents.

    “We are watching this with great concern. I wish I could say this isn’t part of Russia’s known tactics, but it is, and you don’t have to look too far back to understand that,” Kirby said. He was responding to questions about reports of Russian sabotage, including arson attacks, in Europe. “We are working hard with our European counterparts, doing everything we can to build resilience not just at home, but also abroad,” he added.

    Kirby also addressed growing calls from Ukraine and other U.S. allies to lift restrictions that currently prevent Ukraine from targeting inside Russia. He acknowledged President Zelensky’s interest in this issue but reiterated that “at this time,” the U.S. is not changing its policy of neither encouraging nor enabling the use of American weapons to strike inside Russia.

    “I’d like to point out that in the past, Ukraine has been able to thwart air attacks,” he noted.

    Calls for a policy change have come from bipartisan politicians in Congress, leaders of NATO’s eastern flank countries, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. These appeals intensified after Russia recently bombed a shopping center in Kharkiv using an airbase in Voronezh, within range of U.S.-provided ATACMS missiles to Ukraine.

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