Official says US weapons were used by Ukraine to strike Russia

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

Weapons were used under The guidance was recently approved by President Joe Biden Allowing the use of US weapons to strike targets inside Russia for the limited purpose of defence Kharkivthe second largest city in Ukraine.

The official was not authorized to comment publicly on this sensitive matter, and spoke on condition of anonymity. Republican Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, confirmed that the strikes occurred with US weapons, but did not say how he was informed of the matter.

Biden’s directive allows the use of weapons provided by the United States to strike Russian forces that are attacking or preparing to attack. It does not change US policy directing Ukraine not to use it ATACMS systems provided by the United States Or long-range missiles and other munitions to strike offensively inside Russia, US officials said.

Ukrainian officials have intensified their calls for the United States to allow Kiev’s forces to defend themselves against attacks emanating from Russian territory. Kharkiv is located only 20 kilometers from the Russian border and has been subjected to an intense Russian attack.

In their advance into the northeastern Kharkiv region, Russian forces took advantage of a long delay in renewed US military aid. In addition, insufficient military production in Western Europe has slowed deliveries of vital weapons to the battlefield for Ukraine.

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

“We are not in a position to know on a day-to-day basis exactly what the Ukrainians are calling what,” Kirby said. “It’s definitely at the tactical level.”

Germany announced shortly after the White House changed its policy that it was allowing Ukraine to strike some targets on Russian territory with long-range weapons supplied by Kiev. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Germany He said on Wednesday that Ukraine using its weapons to strike inside Russia would represent a “dangerous step,” and said Moscow could in turn provide long-range weapons to others to strike Western targets.

According to a June 3 report by the Institute for the Study of War, Ukrainian forces struck a Russian S-300/400 air defense battery in the Belgorod region, likely using the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, on June 1 or June. 2. The air defense system was placed about 60 kilometers (about 40 mi) from the current front line in the Kharkiv region and more than 80 kilometers (50 mi) from the city of Kharkiv, which falls within the scope of the HIMARS Institute reported.

Confirmation of the strikes comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Qatar, which, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has been a mediator in prisoner exchanges and other negotiations between Russia and Ukraine since the war began.

Zelensky met with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. A statement issued by the state-run Qatar News Agency described the men as discussing ways to “stop the fighting, protect civilians, and keep all channels of communication open to resolve the crisis through dialogue and diplomatic means.”

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Rounds said he agreed with Biden’s decision to allow US weapons to be used in strikes against Russia in limited circumstances.

“I have no problem with Ukraine using ATACMS missiles and so on and all the artillery that we have so that we can eliminate them before they cause any more damage to Ukraine,” he said.

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

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