Eric Thompson

Biden Administration Approves Ukrainian Strikes on Russia Using U.S. Weapons

Ukraine has reportedly utilized U.S.-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to target Russian positions within Russia’s borders, marking a significant escalation in the ongoing conflict. This move comes with the approval of President Joe Biden, who directed his team to ensure Ukraine could use these weapons for counter-fire operations, particularly in the Kharkiv region, which has seen intensified Russian offensives.

The Hill reported that Ukrainian parliament member Yehor Cherniev confirmed that the HIMARS rockets were used to attack a logistics and artillery center in Russia near Ukraine’s northern region of Kharkiv. The Kremlin has been conducting an offense in the region to take more of Ukraine in recent weeks.

“We have already achieved some success and forced the Russians to stop shelling the city,” said Cherniev, who is also the deputy chairman of the Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence in the Ukrainian parliament, in a statement. “Also, thanks to the HIMARS strikes, we managed to reduce the offensive potential of Russian troops in this area.”

Videos that were not immediately verified on Russian Telegram channels appeared to demonstrate the chaos and destruction caused by the HIMARS weapons. Last week, the Biden “directed his team to ensure that Ukraine is able to use US-supplied weapons for counter-fire purposes in the Kharkiv region so Ukraine can hit back against Russian forces that are attacking them or preparing to attack them,” an official told the outlet.

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According to the Post Millenial, the policy reversal is one of many from the Biden administration in terms of changing policy in the war on what weapons and other tactics can be used. Prior to the announcement, Ukraine could only use weaponry from the US to fight where the Russian and Ukrainian armies met on the ground. Kyiv reportedly asked Biden to make the change after the Russian offensive occurred in Kharkiv. Despite the reports of Biden giving permission to the country to go full speed ahead in striking Russia’s interior, Sec. of State Antony Blinken would not confirm or deny the policy, saying, “We haven’t encouraged or enabled strikes outside of Ukraine.”

He then added, “But Ukraine, as I’ve said before, has to make its own decisions about the best way to effectively defend itself. We’re going to make sure that it has the equipment it needs to do that.”

This development underscores the evolving dynamics of the U.S. involvement in the Ukraine conflict. The Biden administration’s approval for the use of HIMARS in Russian territory marks a significant escalation and a bold stance in support of Ukraine’s defensive strategies. It also signals a departure from previous U.S. policies that limited the geographic scope of Ukrainian military actions using American-supplied arms.

The Biden administration’s approval of these strikes is a clear indication of the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Ukraine. It highlights a commitment to not only support Ukraine’s immediate defense needs but also to empower it to take proactive measures against ongoing Russian aggression. As the conflict continues, the implications of this policy shift will be closely monitored, with potential impacts on both the military strategies employed and the broader geopolitical context of the region.

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