President Biden Gave Permission To Strike Inside Russia

President Joe Biden welcomes Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

U.S. President Joe Biden has secretly given Ukraine permission to strike inside Russia – solely near the area of Kharkiv – with American weapons, Politico reported on Thursday, citing a U.S. official and two other people familiar with the plan.

“The president recently directed his team to ensure that Ukraine is able to use U.S. weapons for counter-fire purposes in Kharkiv so Ukraine can hit back at Russian forces hitting them or preparing to hit them,” Politico reported, citing a U.S. official who added that the policy of allowing long-range strikes inside Russia “has not changed.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of the threat of a global conflict if Kyiv’s Western allies allow it to use weapons they have supplied to strike inside Russia, something Ukraine’s government is urging its partners to permit.

The United States has said it does not encourage or enable the use of U.S. weapons for direct attacks on Russia, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken, when asked about Washington’s current position on the matter, said on Wednesday it would “adjust and adapt.”

Russia has intensified attacks around the north-east Kharkiv region and Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, have been vocal about weaponry restrictions.

Officials had called for the US to allow forces to defend themselves from attacks coming from Russian territory, with Mr Zelenskyy making the case that the restriction was putting Ukrainian forces in an untenable situation.

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, is just 20 kilometres from the Russian border.

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