WW3 imminent? Biden allows Ukraine to target Russian forces with US arms

The permission specifically allows Ukrainian forces to use certain U.S. weapons to target Russian troops.

Top Indian News Desk
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New Delhi: President Joe Biden has discreetly authorized Ukraine to use American-supplied weapons to strike within Russian territory, marking a significant shift in U.S. policy. This decision, aimed at countering Russian military operations, is confined to the northeastern region around Kharkiv, according to two American officials who spoke on Thursday under the condition of anonymity, as reported by Politico.

Targeting Russian forces near Kharkiv

The permission specifically allows Ukrainian forces to use certain U.S. weapons to target Russian troops as they prepare for attacks or conduct military operations near the Kharkiv border. However, this authorization does not extend to long-range weapons, such as the ATACMS missiles, which could strike deeper into Russian territory.

A symbolic decision with strategic implications

While this move is largely symbolic and has been welcomed by Kyiv, it reflects a cautious approach. The decision applies only to specific weapons and the Kharkiv area, where Russia launched a significant cross-border offensive three weeks ago. The decision was first reported by Politico.

Debate among allies and within Kyiv

The use of Western-supplied weapons to strike inside Russia has been a contentious issue among Ukraine’s allies. The U.S. had previously resisted calls from European officials to give Ukraine more freedom to attack Russian soil. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, along with French President Emmanuel Macron and German leaders, have pushed for a more permissive stance, which Washington has now partially adopted.

Balancing act for western powers?

Washington and its allies are attempting to support Ukraine while managing the risk of being perceived as directly attacking Russia. This is particularly sensitive given President Vladimir Putin’s control over the world’s largest nuclear arsenal and his warnings that Western intervention could lead to World War III.

What does Kyiv thinks?

The debate has also been a point of frustration for Kyiv, especially after recent setbacks on the battlefield against a resurgent Russian military. The limited approval for strikes inside Russia is seen as a strategic step to help Ukraine defend itself more effectively without escalating the conflict to a broader war.