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US authorization of strikes on Russia thwarts larger offensive in Kharkiv region

US authorization of strikes on Russia thwarts larger offensive in Kharkiv region US authorization of strikes on Russia thwarts larger offensive (photo: Getty Images)

The Russians were preparing an even bigger offensive on the Kharkiv region, concentrating almost 90,000 soldiers on their territory. However, thanks to the US authorization for strikes with American weapons on Russian territory, the new offensive was thwarted, reports the Associated Press.

According to the AP, the US decision to authorize the Ukrainian army to strike with US weapons on Russian territory was made at 11 a.m. Washington time, just as Russian troops were preparing to open a new front in northeastern Ukraine.

First Deputy Defense Minister Ivan Havryliuk told AP that the Russians had deployed at least 90,000 troops to Ukraine in preparation for a new offensive, but kept them deep in their territory.

Soldiers from Ukrainian brigades fighting in the Kharkiv sector told AP that within hours of receiving permission from the United States, HIMARS missile systems began firing into Russian territory.

"HIMARS has not been silent all day. From the very first days, Ukrainian forces managed to destroy entire columns of troops along the border waiting for the order to enter Ukraine," an artillery commander with the call sign "Hephaestus" recalled in a conversation with AP.

According to Hephaestus, the Ukrainian military had previously been unable to attack targets on Russian territory, as the Russians kept all the ammunition and other resources 20 kilometers further away than Ukrainian weapons could reach.

According to the AP, after the authorization of strikes on Russia, the dynamics on the northeastern front changed almost immediately and Ukrainian troops managed to stabilize the situation there.

Authorization for strikes against Russia

Since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have not been able to use Western weapons to strike at Russian territory. However, after a new offensive on the Kharkiv region began in May, Kyiv intensified its calls for the United States and Western countries to grant the Ukrainian Armed Forces this right.

Only at the end of May, after a number of NATO countries supported the authorization of strikes against Russia, did the White House give Ukraine the green light, but with certain restrictions. The US does not yet authorize deep strikes against Russia, but Ukraine can attack Russian troops, positions, and launchers along its border.