Biden Authorizes Ukraine to Use US Weapons in Kharkiv Region

US President Joe Biden has authorized Ukraine to use American-supplied weapons to strike targets in Russia, specifically near the Kharkiv region, according to US officials. One official told BBC News that Biden’s team was directed to ensure Ukraine could use US weapons for “counter-fire purposes” to retaliate against Russian forces attacking or preparing to attack them.

Russian forces have recently made gains in the Kharkiv region following a surprise offensive close to the Russian border. On Friday, Ukrainian officials reported that three people were killed and 16 injured in Russian shelling of a residential building in a Kharkiv suburb.

The US official emphasized that the policy prohibiting the use of Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) or long-range strikes inside Russia remains unchanged. When asked by CBS, the BBC’s US partner, whether the new policy included attacking Russian aircraft, the official responded, “We’ve never told them [Ukraine] they can’t shoot down a Russian airplane over Russian soil that’s coming to attack them.”

The White House and State Department have not commented on this development. However, the UK has indicated openness to easing restrictions on how Ukraine can use Western-supplied weapons. Despite fears of escalating the conflict, some European leaders have also called for relaxing these restrictions. Washington, which provides the majority of Ukraine’s weaponry, had previously resisted such changes due to escalation concerns.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hinted at this policy shift during a visit to Moldova on Wednesday. “At every step along the way, we’ve adapted and adjusted as necessary,” he said. “And so that’s exactly what we’ll do going forward.”

Russian forces seem to have recently capitalized on an opportunity to push deeper into Ukrainian territory in Kharkiv as Kyiv awaits further Western weapons. Last week, Russian forces killed at least 12 people and wounded dozens more after hitting a supermarket in Kharkiv with two glide bombs.

Early on Friday, Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Syniehubov reported on Telegram that Russian shelling struck a five-story apartment block in the Novobavarskyi District of Kharkiv, destroying part of the building and causing a fire. At least three people were killed and 16 injured, including a 12-year-old boy and girl, both hospitalized. Syniehubov accused Russian forces of targeting “exclusively civilian infrastructure” and employing a “double-strike tactic,” hitting the site again after paramedics and rescue workers had arrived.

Kindly share this story:
Kindly share this story:
Share on whatsapp
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on telegram
Share on facebook
Top News

Related Articles