UKRAINE, KHARKIV, May 31 — U.S. President Joe Biden has authorized Ukraine to use American weapons to strike at Russian territory to protect Kharkiv, reported The Washington Times and Reuters, citing American officials who remain anonymous.

“President Joe Biden has quietly authorized Kyiv to launch U.S.-supplied weapons at military targets inside Russia that are supporting an offensive against the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv,” Reuters reports, citing four U.S. officials.

However, the permit applies only to Russian facilities near the border with the Kharkiv region, where the Russians have launched an offensive, journalists write.

“The President recently directed his team to ensure that Ukraine is able to use U.S.-supplied weapons for counter-fire purposes in the Kharkiv region so Ukraine can hit back against Russian forces that are attacking them or preparing to attack them,” said one U.S. official.

According to journalists, the officials emphasize that the United States still prohibits Ukraine from using long-range missiles and other ammunition provided by the United States for offensive strikes on Russian territory. In particular, this restriction applies to the launch of long-range ATACMS missiles.

In addition, Biden’s decision also does not mean that the United States approves the drone attacks that Ukraine is conducting against Russian oil facilities.

According to The Washington Post, citing a White House official, Ukraine has no restrictions on using U.S. air defense systems to shoot down Russian missiles or fighter jets over Russian territory if they pose a threat to Ukraine.

On the afternoon of May 25, Russian forces dropped two guided bombs [KAB] on a construction hypermarket in Kharkiv. Customers and employees were inside. A massive fire broke out at the hit site. The attack killed 19 civilians and injured 54.

In total, Russia has attacked Kharkiv with missiles, glide bombs, or drone strikes 1,700 times since January 2024, Oleh Syniehubov told Ukrainska Pravda, in an interview published on May 25. More than 230 of them were missile attacks. 

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  • Russian attacks occur, “destroying our cities and villages, ruining lives, burning books and everything that preserves humanity,” because Ukraine still has restrictions in its defense, said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his evening address on May 23.