US President Joe Biden has authorized Ukraine to strike targets within Russian territory using American munitions, a move that has provoked strong condemnation from Russia.

Biden has imposed restrictions on the use of these weapons, permitting Ukraine to target areas just over the border near Kharkiv. This decision follows significant advances by Russian forces around the city, which is located in northeastern Ukraine close to the Russian border, according to two US officials. One of the officials stated, “The president recently directed his team to ensure that Ukraine can use US-supplied weapons for counterfire purposes in Kharkiv so Ukraine can hit back at Russian forces hitting them or preparing to hit them.” This adjustment to the policy comes amidst increasing international pressure from close US allies to provide more support to Ukraine.

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The official further explained that this permission is confined to the area around Kharkiv and that Ukraine has not requested broader permissions. “We do not anticipate the US widening the area allowed,” the official added.

Kyiv recently requested this policy change from Washington in response to the advancing Russian forces. Now, Russian forces, ammunition depots, and logistical hubs can be targeted with US-provided artillery and rockets across the border from Kharkiv in western Russia.

However, the Biden administration has not allowed Ukraine to use the most powerful munition provided: the long-range missiles known as ATACMS, which have a range of 200 miles (300 kilometers).