Global Affairs June 8, 2024 by

Mihailo Oudman

Ukraine allowed to strike targets on Russian soil using US weaponry

US President Joe Biden has authorized Ukraine to use American supplied weapons to hit targets in Russia, though only near the Kharkiv region, according to US officials. One official mentioned that his team had been told to ensure Ukraine could use US weapons to retaliate against Russian forces targeting them or preparing to do so.

Recently, Russian forces have made gains in the Kharkiv region after a surprise offensive close to the border with Russia. Ukrainian officials reported that three people were killed and 16 injured in Russian attack on a residential building in a Kharkiv suburb on Friday.

The US official also emphasized that the policy prohibiting the use of Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) or long-range strikes inside Russia has not changed. When questioned about whether the new policy included attacking Russian aircraft, an official clarified that the US has never prohibited Ukraine from shooting down Russian planes over Russian territory if they were coming to attack.

The White House and State Department did not have a immediate comment on the matter. Meanwhile, the UK signaled its openness to easing restrictions on how Ukraine could use Western-supplied weapons. Despite concerns about escalating the conflict, several European leaders have also called for relaxing these restrictions. Washington, which provides the majority of Ukraine’s weaponry, has been cautious about easing these restrictions due to fears of escalation.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hinted a policy shift during a visit to Moldova, stating that adjustments and adaptations have been made as necessary and will continue to be made.

Russian forces seem to have taken advantage of a window of opportunity to push deeper into Ukrainian territory in Kharkiv as Kyiv awaits further Western weapons. Last week at least 12 people were killed and dozens wounded after Russian forces struck a supermarket in Kharkiv with glide bombs.

Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Syniehubov reported on Telegram that Russian shelling struck a five-story apartment building in the Novobavarskyi District. The attack caused a fire and partially destroyed the building, resulting in at least three deaths and 16 injuries. Among the injured were two 12-year-old children who were hospitalized. Governor Syniehubov accused Russian forces of targeting civilian infrastructure and employing a “double-strike tactic,” where the site is hit again after paramedics and rescue workers have arrived.

This article was written by a 10th grade High School student as an internship assignment with CIRIS


BBC & Reuters

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Mihailo Oudman

Mihailo Oudman