Biden will allow Ukraine to use US weapons to attack inside Russia

The Biden administration decided to allow Ukraine to attack inside Russia with U.S.-made weapons in order to mitigate Russia’s attacks in the Kharkiv area, senior U.S. officials said Thursday.

The decision came after weeks of talks with the Ukrainians after Russia launched a major assault on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Because Kharkiv is close to Russia in northeastern Ukraine, the Russian military has been attacking the area around the city with artillery and missiles fired or launched from within Russian territory, and the Ukrainians have asked the Americans to give greater room for maneuver to defend Kharkiv. said a US official.

President Biden’s permission is intended only for Ukraine to attack military sites in Russia that are used to attack the Kharkiv area, US officials said.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken told reporters traveling with him to Moldova that the United States would “adapt and adjust” to battlefield conditions. He was responding to a question about whether Biden would soon allow Ukraine to use American-made weapons to attack Russia. It was a strong suggestion that the president was making a decision to give Ukraine permission.

The leaders of NATO, France and Germany had recently urged the United States to make that decision. In internal administration discussions, Blinken has advocated moving in that direction. He is attending a NATO meeting in Prague on Thursday and Friday and visited Ukraine more than two weeks ago.

Biden’s decision was reported earlier Thursday by Politico.

The Pentagon is charged with giving Ukraine exact guidelines on what it can attack in Russia, U.S. officials said.

In addition to artillery and missile launchers, Ukrainians are concerned that Russian planes will drop gliding bombs on Kharkiv from inside Russian airspace. Glide bombs are simple munitions fitted with fins. Ukrainian officials say they want to use American-made weapons to attack Russian aircraft in Russian airspace and air bases inside Russia.

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