Russia's Invasion of Ukraine (Official Thread)

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Defense

US says Ukraine can hit inside Russia ‘anywhere’ its forces attack across the border​

The policy is not limited to the Kharkiv region, U.S. officials said.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 22, 2024.

“This is not about geography. It's about common sense," national security adviser Jake Sullivan told PBS. | Susan Walsh/AP

By Lara Seligman

06/20/2024 02:39 PM EDT



The U.S. has told Ukraine it can use American-supplied weapons to hit any Russian forces attacking from across the border — not just those in the region near Kharkiv, according to U.S. officials.

The subtle shift in messaging — which officials insist is not a change in policy — comes just weeks after the U.S. quietly gave Kyiv the green light to strike inside Russia in response to a cross-border assault on the city of Kharkiv. At the time, U.S. officials stressed that the policy was limited to the Kharkiv region, among other restrictions.

Ukrainian forces have since used American weapons to strike into Russia at least once, destroying targets in the city of Belgorod, and managed to hold back the Russian assault. But Ukrainian and other European officials have pressed the U.S. to loosen its restrictions even further, allowing Ukraine to strike anywhere inside Russia.

Blinken: Biden approves Ukraine use of American weapons in Russia

National security adviser Jake Sullivan told PBS on Tuesday that the agreement with Ukraine about firing American weapons into Russia extends to “anywhere that Russian forces are coming across the border from the Russian side to the Ukrainian side to try to take additional Ukrainian territory.”

Russia has in recent days indicated it may soon move on the northeastern city of Sumy, which is also near the Russian border. If that happens, the policy would apply there as well, Sullivan said.

“This is not about geography. It’s about common sense. If Russia is attacking or about to attack from its territory into Ukraine, it only makes sense to allow Ukraine to hit back against the forces that are hitting it from across the border,” Sullivan said.

Biden touts new security deal with Ukraine

Two U.S. officials, who were granted anonymity to speak candidly about the discussions, maintained that allowing Ukraine to hit inside Russia in response to counterfire from anywhere across the border is not a shift in policy since the Kharkiv decision was made. Originally, the move was characterized only in the context of the ongoing Kharkiv assault, but that did not exclude the possibility of hitting back against other cross-border attacks, said one of the officials.

Still, Sullivan’s language is markedly different from what U.S. officials said in May when the new policy was detailed. At the time a senior U.S. official said: “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.”

The policy of not allowing long-range strikes inside Russia “has not changed,” the official stressed.
 

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Russia tells US: we need to talk, but Ukraine must be on agenda​

By Reuters

June 21, 20247:26 AM EDTUpdated 3 hours ago

Russian President Putin holds his annual press conference in Moscow

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual press conference in Moscow, Russia December 14, 2023. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights

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MOSCOW, June 21 (Reuters) - Russia sees a pressing need for security talks with the United States but they must be "comprehensive" and include the subject of Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Friday.

"It is impossible to rip out any individual segments from the general complex of accumulated problems, and we will not do this," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked if Moscow was ready to talk to Washington about nuclear risks.

"So we are open to dialogue, but to a broad comprehensive dialogue that covers all dimensions, including the current dimension related to the conflict around Ukraine, related to the direct involvement of the USA in this conflict," Peskov told reporters.

The United States rejects Russia's contention that by arming Ukraine it has become a direct protagonist in a war aimed at inflicting a crushing "strategic defeat" on Moscow. The U.S. says any negotiations over the war are a matter for Ukraine.

The Russian stance, as outlined by Peskov, is not new. But he told reporters that the list of topics that Russia and the United States needed to discuss was growing.

"Overall, this dialogue is very much required," Peskov said. "It is needed because problems are piling up, and there are a lot of problems associated with the global security architecture."

From Washington's point of view, it is Putin who, in the third year of the war in Ukraine, is adding to the list of security concerns.

This week he visited nuclear-armed North Korea, signed a mutual defence agreement with its leader Kim Jong Un and said he might supply Russian weapons to North Korea in response to the Western arming of Ukraine.

Putin also reiterated on Thursday that he was considering reviewing Russia's doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons. The last remaining arms control treaty that limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads that Russia and the United States can deploy is due to expire in 2026.
 
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