In a dramatic policy shift announced on Thursday, May 30, President Joe Biden has quietly authorized Ukraine to use American-supplied weapons to conduct limited strikes inside Russia, marking a significant escalation in US involvement in the Ukraine conflict.

The decision, which is narrowly tailored to acts of self-defense, aims to enable Ukraine to protect Kharkiv, its second-largest city, from intensifying Russian attacks.

A New Chapter in the Ukraine Conflict

The move by President Biden to allow limited military responses on artillery, missile bases, and command centers inside Russia is unprecedented.

Politico first reported the decision.

It represents the first time an American president has permitted military actions within the borders of a nuclear-armed adversary using US-supplied weapons.

This major policy shift, pressed by Biden’s advisers and key allies, opens what could be a new chapter in the ongoing war.

Forest fire in Kharkiv
Forest fire in Kharkiv Oblast after Russian shelling on May 28, 2024. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Strategic Self-Defense

According to White House officials, the authorization extends solely to what they described as acts of self-defense so that Ukraine can protect its territories and populace.

“The president recently directed his team to ensure that Ukraine is able to use US-supplied weapons for counter-fire purposes in the Kharkiv region,” a US official stated under the condition of anonymity, adding that the policy of not allowing long-range strikes inside Russia “has not changed.”