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Politico: US quietly allowed Ukraine to strike inside Russia, but solely near Kharkiv

The Biden administration secretly allows Ukraine targeted strikes inside Russian territory near Kharkiv with US weapons, aiming to counter Russian military threats, while maintaining restrictions on long-range attacks, Politico sources say.
politico us quietly allowed ukraine strike inside russia solely near kharkiv us-made himars mlrs general staff armed forces fb_img_1668329270759jpg
US-made HIMARS MLRS in Ukraine. Photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Politico: US quietly allowed Ukraine to strike inside Russia, but solely near Kharkiv

Citing three unnamed US officials and “two other people familiar with the move,” Politico says the Biden administration has secretly authorized Ukraine to conduct strikes inside Russia using US-supplied weapons, but solely near Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. Earlier this month, Russia launched a new offensive across the border into the region.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the US has provided military aid to Ukraine but repeatedly asked them not to fire US-made weapons into Russian territory. Recently, several European leaders, including NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and French President Emmanuel Macron, have called to lift these restrictions.

Recently, US State Secretary Blinken suggested the US could “adapt and adjust” its position, potentially tolerating Ukraine’s use of US-made weapons for attacks against targets within Russia’s borders, but did not explicitly confirm that the US has eased the ban.

According to Politico, one of the US officials stated that US President Joe Biden has recently instructed his team to “ensure that Ukraine is able to use US weapons for counter-fire purposes in Kharkiv.” This directive allows Ukraine to retaliate against Russian forces that are attacking or preparing to attack them. However, the overall US policy prohibiting long-range strikes inside Russia remains unchanged, according to the source.

A second US official informed Politico that, in recent days, the US has decided to grant Ukraine “flexibility” to defend itself against attacks near the border area of Kharkiv Oblast, authorizing Ukraine to use US-provided weapons like rockets and launchers to intercept Russian missiles aimed at Kharkiv, target troops near the border, or counter Russian bombers.

However, the official emphasized that these weapons cannot be used against civilian infrastructure or for long-range strikes deep inside Russia, such as using ATACMS missiles on military targets.

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