US weapons used by Ukraine to strike Russia, official says

WASHINGTON — Ukraine has used U.S. weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a U.S. senator and a Western official familiar with the matter.

The weapons were used under guidelines recently approved by President Joe Biden Authorize the use of American weapons to hit targets in Russia for limited defense purposes Kharkovthe second largest city in Ukraine.

The official was not authorized to comment publicly on the sensitive issue and spoke on condition of anonymity. The Republican senator. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, confirmed the strikes with U.S. weapons but did not say how he was informed.

Biden’s directive authorizes the use of U.S.-supplied weapons to strike Russian forces that are attacking or preparing to attack. This does not change the American policy which orders Ukraine not to use ATACMS provided by the United States or long-range missiles and other munitions to strike offensively inside Russia, U.S. officials said.

Ukrainian officials have increased calls for the United States to allow Kiev forces to defend against attacks from Russian territory. Kharkiv is just 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Russian border and is the subject of intensified Russian attacks.

By advancing into the region northeast of Kharkiv, Russian forces exploited a long delay in replenishing U.S. military aid. Additionally, Western Europe’s insufficient military production has slowed crucial deliveries to Ukraine on the battlefield.

On Tuesday, White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters he could not confirm that Ukraine had used U.S. weapons against targets in Russia.

“We’re just not able, on a day-to-day basis, to know exactly what the Ukrainians are shooting at and what,” Kirby said. “It’s certainly at the tactical level.”

Germany announced shortly after the White House changed its policy that it was also allowing Ukraine to strike certain targets on Russian soil with the long-range weapons it supplies to kyiv. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Germany On Wednesday, Ukraine using its weapons to strike inside Russia would be a “dangerous step,” and he said Moscow could, in turn, provide long-range weapons to others country to strike Western targets.

According to a June 3 report from the Institute for the Study of War, Ukrainian forces struck a Russian S-300/400 air defense battery in the Belgorod region, likely with the artillery rocket system at high mobility, or HIMARS, on June 1 or June 1. 2. The air defense system was located approximately 60 kilometers (about 40 miles) from the current front line in the Kharkiv region and more than 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the city of Kharkiv, which is in the scope of action of the HIMARS institute. reported.

The confirmation of the strikes comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Qatar, which, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is mediating prisoner exchanges and other negotiations between the Russia and Ukraine since the start of the war.

Zelensky met with Qatar’s ruling Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. According to Qatar’s official news agency, the men were discussing ways “to stop the fighting, protect civilians and keep all communication channels open to resolve the crisis through dialogue and diplomatic means.”

Rounds said he agreed with Biden’s decision to authorize the use of U.S. weapons for strikes against Russia in limited circumstances.

“I have no problem with Ukraine using ATACMS, etc., and all the artillery we have to be able to take them out before they cause more damage in Ukraine,” he said. -he declares.

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Associated Press writers Tara Copp and Stephen Groves contributed to this report.

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