According to POLITICO, the Biden administration quietly gave Ukraine permission to strike inside Russia using U.S.-provided weapons.

The report said Ukraine could solely use American weapons to strike the area near Kharkiv.

“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,” a U.S. official said, according to POLITICO.

The policy of not allowing long-range strikes inside Russia reportedly “has not changed.”

From POLITICO:

Ukraine asked the U.S. to make this policy change only after Russia’s offensive on Kharkiv began this month, the official added. All the people were granted anonymity to discuss internal decisions that haven’t been announced.

In the last few days, the U.S. made the decision to allow Ukraine “flexibility” to defend itself from attacks on the border near Kharkiv, the second U.S. official said.

In effect, Ukraine can now use American-provided weapons, such as rockets and rocket launchers, to shoot down launched Russian missiles heading toward Kharkiv, at troops massing just over the Russian border near the city, or Russian bombers launching bombs toward Ukrainian territory. But the official said Ukraine cannot use those weapons to hit civilian infrastructure or launch long-range missiles, such as the Army Tactical Missile System, to hit military targets deep inside Russia.

Per Reuters:

Russia’s embassy in Washington and Russia’s mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

NATO allies have been calling on the U.S. to allow Ukraine to use Western weapons against missile launchers and other military sites inside Russia that are supporting a cross-border offensive that Moscow launched toward Kharkiv this month.

Russia jetfighters flying inside Russia have been backing the drive by launching glide bombs at Kharkiv and Ukrainian defense lines.

Word of Biden’s decision broke shortly after the Pentagon said the U.S. policy against use of U.S. weapons inside Russia had remained unchanged.

“The security assistance that we provide Ukraine is to be used within Ukraine. And we don’t encourage attacks, or enable attacks, inside of Russia,” said Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh.

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