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Ukraine can strike at Russia anywhere, not just near Kharkiv

Jun 21, 2024

The United States has authorized Ukraine to use American weapons to strike any Russian forces attacking across the border, not just those in the Kharkiv area.


This was reported by two American officials on condition of anonymity, RBC-Ukraine reports citing Politico.

The subtle change in the handling of weapons, officials insist, is not a change in policy. The easing of restrictions comes just weeks after the United States gave Kyiv the green light to launch strikes on Russian territory in response to the attack on Kharkiv. At the time, U.S. officials emphasized that the policy was limited to the Kharkiv region.

Since then, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have used American weapons to strike Russia at least once, destroying targets in Belgorod and managing to deter a Russian offensive. But Ukrainian and other European officials have demanded that the United States ease the restrictions even further, allowing Ukraine to strike anywhere in Russia.

On Tuesday, June 17, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the agreement with Ukraine to fire US weapons at Russia applies to "any place where Russian troops cross the border from the Russian side to the Ukrainian side to try to seize additional Ukrainian territory.

In recent days, Russia has signaled that it may soon move on the northeastern city of Sumy, which is also close to the Russian border. Sullivan said that if this happens, this policy will be applied there as well.

"It's not about geography. It's about common sense. If Russia is attacking or is about to attack Ukraine from its territory, it makes sense to allow Ukraine to retaliate against the forces that are attacking it from the other side of the border," Sullivan said.

Politico notes that Sullivan's wording now differs markedly from what US officials said in May, when the new policy was described in detail.

"The president recently instructed his team to ensure that Ukraine can use U.S. weapons to counter fire in Kharkiv so that Ukraine can retaliate against Russian forces that are striking or preparing to strike," a senior U.S. official said.

The policy of not allowing long-range strikes inside Russia "has not changed," the official emphasized.

Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 21/06/2024

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