Ukraine presses Biden to lift ban on using US weapons to strike Russia

World 11:17 15.05.2024

Ukrainian officials are making a new push to get the Biden administration to lift its ban on using U.S.-made weapons to strike inside Russia, saying the policy kept them from attacking Russian positions as they prepared for their major march toward Kharkiv, Ednews reports via Politico.

A group of Ukrainian parliamentarians is in Washington this week to enlist congressional help on the issue, which they see as handcuffing the Ukrainian war effort as Kyiv looks to hit Russian military supply depots over the border.

Just this week, tens of thousands of Russian troops poured over the border in Ukraine’s northeast in an assault that Ukrainian intelligence officials had been anticipating for months. The Russians are smashing into overstretched, equipment-hungry Ukrainian units that are giving up ground as they regroup.

 
Ukrainian officials watched for weeks as the Russians massed near the Ukrainian border, unable to use U.S.-supplied weapons to conduct a preemptive strike due to Washington’s policy. The Biden administration, as a condition of sending the long-range weapons to Ukraine, said they could not be used to strike inside Russian territory.

“The main problem right now is the White House policy to limit our capability” to strike military targets inside Russia, David Arakhamia, chair of the ruling Servant of the People party in the Ukrainian parliament, said during a visit to Washington on Tuesday.

Russia is well aware of this limitation, and was able to mass at least 30,000 troops and equipment on the border without fear of being hit by long-range U.S.-supplied Army Tactical Missile Systems, which Ukraine has used to devastating effect on Russian troops inside Ukraine.

“We saw their military sitting one or two kilometers from the border inside Russia and there was nothing we could do about that,” Oleksandra Ustinova, the head of Ukraine’s special parliamentary commission on arms and munitions, said in a separate interview.

Russia has since clawed back ground Ukraine took last year during its counteroffensive, which pushed Russian forces back across the border.

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