President Joe Biden and the White House have quietly given Ukraine permission to use US weapons to strike Russia within its borders. This is according to three separate US officials as well as two individuals involved in the communications with Ukraine who spoke to POLITICO.

“The president recently directed his team to ensure that Ukraine is able to use US weapons for counter-fire purposes in Kharkiv so Ukraine can hit back at Russian forces hitting them or preparing to hit them,” one official said. They added that their ban on conducting long-range strikes within Russia “has not changed.”

Ukraine will now be allowed to use American rockets and other weapons to counterstrike Russian missiles. They may also open fire on troops at the Ukrainian border and Russian bombers heading toward Kharkiv. For now, the permissions only apply to use near this area.

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This represents a major US policy change that will ostensibly help Ukraine repel Russia’s attack on the Kharkiv region by granting them more “flexibility” in the officials’ words.

Previously, the US prohibited Ukraine from using its weapons on Russia to avoid further entanglement in the war. With this move, the US has inched closer to being directly at war with Russia. The advancing Russian attack on Kharkiv caused the White House to change course.

Ukraine had requested the US to grant the permissions in the beginning of May, according to one official. The US government put a limit on their use of the weapons to destroy Russian civilian infrastructure. They also are prohibited from using long-range missiles like the Army Tactical Missile System.

Shane Devine is a writer covering politics and business for VT and a regular guest on The Unusual Suspects. Follow Shane’s work here.

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