Home Russia Pentagon Says Ukraine Can Now Fire US Weapons Anywhere Across the Border

Pentagon Says Ukraine Can Now Fire US Weapons Anywhere Across the Border

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A Ukrainian serviceman of a repair and restoration battalion of the 24th Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces named after King Danylo, repairs an M113 armoured personnel carrier at a workshop, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in an undisclosed location, Ukraine. Oleg Petrasiuk/Press Service of the 24th King Danylo Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces/Handout via REUTERS

The Pentagon said Ukraine can now use US weapons to hit Russian forces anywhere across the border. The Russian forces have to be firing on Ukrainian troops. Earlier, Ukrainian forces could only fire on Russian forces in Russian territory near Ukraine’s Kharkiv region.

President Joe Biden had quietly authorised Kyiv to launch US weapons at military targets inside Russia. This was done last month. But officials said Biden’s decision applied to targets near the border with Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region.

Pentagon spokesperson Air Force Major General Patrick Ryder told reporters there had been no change in policy. He however confirmed Ukraine’s use of weapons against Russian troops was not limited to near Kharkiv.

“The ability to be able to fire back when fired upon is really what this policy is focused on.” He added. “It’s self-defence and so it makes sense for them to be able to do that.”

The remarks by the Pentagon was echoed by US NSA Jake Sullivan. Sullivan made similar comments earlier this week.

“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.’

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Sullivan added that Ukraine could also use air-defence systems to fire at Russian planes flying in Russian airspace.

The front lines in Ukraine have barely moved since the end of 2022.

Initial Ukrainian successes saw Kyiv repel an assault on the capital and recapture territory. However, a major Ukrainian counter-offensive fizzled last year. Russian forces hold one-fifth of Ukraine and are again advancing.

No peace talks have been held for two years.

With inputs from Reuters