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The NYT: US debates relaxing restrictions on Ukraine’s use of its weapons to strike targets inside Russia

Amid ongoing discussions, the US might permit Ukraine to strike Russian targets with American weapons.
Ukrainian soldier in tank T-64
A Ukrainian soldier in a T-64BV tank. Credit: 24th Mechanized Brigade
The NYT: US debates relaxing restrictions on Ukraine’s use of its weapons to strike targets inside Russia

The consensus around the US policy to never fire from weapons the US supplied to Ukraine is changing, according to The New York Times.

Currently, a debate inside the Biden administration is ongoing over relaxing the ban to allow Ukrainian armed forces to hit missile and artillery launch sites in Russia, targets that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said have enabled Moscow’s recent territorial gains.

Officials involved in the discussions said Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s position on hitting targets in Russia recently changed because the occupiers launched a new offensive in Kharkiv Oblast, devastating villages and executing civilians.

Russian troops have based weapons across the border from northeastern Ukraine and pointed them at Kharkiv, “knowing the Ukrainians would only be able to use non-American drones and other weaponry to target them in response,” said the newspaper. 

However, the shift in policy on defeating Russians can be seen changing in recent months, with British Foreign Secretary David Cameron saying that Ukraine “absolutely has the right to strike back at Russia” and the possibility of training Ukrainian troops inside the country rather than sending them to a training ground in Germany.

Today, the Biden administration appears less sensitive to Russian threats of retaliation than it was in the early days of the war or in October 2022, when the US said that there was a 50 percent chance of nuclear weapon use.

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