Germany calls for providing Ukraine long-range weapons amid Russian Kharkiv push

Germany’s Annalena Baerbock described the situation around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, as “highly dramatic” amid a renewed Russian offensive that has made territorial gains in recent days.

Germany’s foreign minister said Friday that Ukraine needs to be supplied with more long-range weapons capable of hitting Russian forces and supply lines at a distance, as intense fighting rages in the northern Kharkiv region.

In remarks on the sidelines of a meeting in Strasbourg, Annalena Baerbock described the situation around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, as “highly dramatic” amid a renewed Russian offensive that has made territorial gains in recent days.

The comments suggest Germany and its allies may be preparing to provide Kyiv with longer-range artillery, missile systems, or other munitions that can strike Russian troops and logistics hubs deeper behind the front lines in places like Kharkiv.

Thus far, the U.S. and other NATO nations have supplied Ukraine primarily with shorter-range weaponry suited for battling Russian forces within a 50-mile radius, out of apparent concerns about provoking wider escalation. But as the conflict enters a new phase of confrontation in more open terrain, Ukrainian officials have urgently sought arms with expanded reach.

With its manpower stretched thin, Ukraine’s outgunned forces in the Kharkiv region have been struggling to hold off the latest Russian offensive, which Moscow hopes can secure more territory and pressure Kyiv’s exposed flanks in the Donbas. Russian troops have reportedly advanced several kilometres on multiple fronts around Kharkiv in recent days.

While Baerbock did not specify which precise weapons Germany and allies could send, possibilities include the U.S.-made HIMARS rocket system, France’s Caesar truck-mounted howitzer, and long-range surface-to-air missile batteries. All would provide Ukraine with new counter-battery and deep strike capabilities against the Russian forces bearing down on Kharkiv and elsewhere.

However, any decision to send such longer-range systems would mark an escalation in Western military aid and could risk further raising tensions with Russia. The Kremlin has warned that the more potent and longer-reaching the weapons supplied to Ukraine, the more it may need to push its military goals further inside the country.

But with Ukrainian lives and territory under threat in Kharkiv, Western allies like Germany appear willing to intensify their support with arms that can help shift the momentum of Russia’s renewed offensive.