KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

U.S. gives Ukraine permission to use U.S. weapons to strike inside Russia, with caveats

An Ukrainian soldier takes part in a military training with French servicemen at a military training compound at an undisclosed location in Poland, on April 4.
Wojtek Radwanski
An Ukrainian soldier takes part in a military training with French servicemen at a military training compound at an undisclosed location in Poland, on April 4.

The administration has given Ukraine permission to use certain U.S. weapons to strike inside of Russia near Kharkiv for “counter-fire purposes,” according to two U.S. officials. This is a change in policy, as the U.S. has publicly and repeatedly said it opposes the use of U.S.-supplied weapons to strike inside of Russia, even as it continues to support Ukraine in its war effort.

“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. Our policy with respect to prohibiting the use of ATACMS or long range strikes inside of Russia has not changed,” one U.S. official said in a written statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been calling for using U.S. weapons to attack Russia. A number of European leaders, including the secretary-general of NATO, have also called for the restrictions on Western weapons be reconsidered.

At a White House briefing on Tuesday, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby was asked about Zelenskyy’s request, and he said there had been no change in policy.

“We’re aware of the interest that President Zelenskyy has expressed in this regard. I would tell you that there’s no change to our policy at this point. We don’t encourage or enable the use of U.S.-supplied weapons to strike inside Russia,” he said.

Kirby added at the time: “I would note that the — that the — the Ukrainians have in the past defeated imminent air attacks, such as some of the ones that have occurred in the last few days, on their own since the war began. And we will continue to talk to them nearly every day about what they need.”

Copyright 2024 NPR

Asma Khalid
Asma Khalid is a White House correspondent for NPR. She also co-hosts The NPR Politics Podcast. Khalid is a bit of a campaign-trail addict, having reported on the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections. She joined NPR's Washington team in 2016 to focus on the intersection of demographics and politics. During the 2020 presidential campaign, she covered the crowded Democratic primary field, and then went on to report on Joe Biden's candidacy. Her reporting often dives into the political, cultural and racial divides in the country. Before joining NPR's political team, Khalid was a reporter for Boston's NPR station WBUR, where she was nearly immediately flung into one of the most challenging stories of her career — the Boston Marathon bombings. She had joined the network just a few weeks prior, but went on to report on the bombings, the victims, and the reverberations throughout the city. She also covered Boston's failed Olympic bid and the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger. Later, she led a new business and technology team at the station that reported on the future of work. In addition to countless counties across America, Khalid's reporting has taken her to Pakistan, the United Kingdom and China. She got her start in journalism in her home state of Indiana, but she fell in love with radio through an internship at the BBC Newshour in London during graduate school. She's been a guest on numerous TV programs including ABC's This Week, CNN's Inside Politics and PBS's Washington Week. Her reporting has been recognized with the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism, as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Gracie Award. A native of Crown Point, Ind., Khalid is a graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington. She has also studied at the University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics, the American University in Beirut and Middlebury College's Arabic school. [Copyright 2024 NPR]