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直播丨洞庭湖决堤口开始封堵合龙,上千救援人员紧急施工作业中 | 8k8 bonus | Updated: 2024-07-15 19:37:44

The Biden administration's policy shift to allow American weapons to be used by Ukraine against limited targets inside Russia is a dangerous escalation of the war, those opposed to the policy say.

US President Joe Biden's directive allows for US-supplied weapons to be used for "counterfire purposes in the Kharkiv region so Ukraine can hit back against Russian forces that are attacking them or preparing to attack them", said one of four US officials who spoke to The Associated Press.

The officials, who requested anonymity, said that the US policy calling on Ukraine not to use American ATACMS or long-range missiles and other munitions to strike inside Russia has not changed.

The news of the US policy shift was first reported by Politico on May 30, which said that it was a result of recent Russian military gains around Kharkiv. Politico said the policy change was made "secretly".

Several commenters on social media have speculated that the move was made while attention was focused on former US president Donald Trump's hush-money fraud trial in New York City.

"Domestic news may threaten to overshadow this very serious development, so timing is perhaps not accidental," wrote Aaron Kheriaty, a physician and writer to his 299,000 followers on X.

"There isn't much more US/European provocation that can occur before Russia begins hitting equivalent targets in NATO countries outside Ukraine, at which point NATO will potentially be compelled to formally declare and activate its collective defense articles.

"If that occurs, opinions differ a bit on how things play out, but at least one analyst with Russia ties has stated that upon NATO declaration of war, Russian nuclear doctrine dictates a full-out preemptive nuclear attack, the rationale being that given the weakness of western conventional forces, the conflict would escalate to the nuclear level eventually anyway," he wrote.

"While the Trump indictment overwhelms the news, sounds like a serious escalation that will force a potentially devastating counter move by Putin. Curious Timing," wrote Edward Dowd, founder of Phinance Technologies, to 288,000 followers on X.

"This is what they are distracting us from with the Trump verdict!" wrote "Winnie Schola", an architectural designer, on X. "Joe Biden gave PERMISSION to Ukraine to use US weapons INSIDE of Russia! This is WWIII level bull---- right here!

"It is not sane or acceptable that any of this is happening. The empire knowingly provoked this war, and now it's getting more casual about risking the life of everyone on this planet as its proxy runs out of lives to throw into its gears," wrote Australian independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone to 388,000 followers on X.

Michael Tracey, in an X post to his 322,000 followers, wrote on May 21: "The hubris in Congress toward nuclear escalation is jaw-dropping. Bipartisan coalition demands Biden authorize Ukraine to strike inside Russia with US intel/weapons."

David Morgan in the UK posted to 103,000 followers on X, "We are poking the bear and that bear is a nuclear power in the form of the Russian Federation. The US and NATO are taking us into World War 3, not Putin!"

On Monday, Ukrainian forces said that they had struck a Russian S-300 missile system using Western-supplied weapons inside Russian territory, although the origin of the weapons was unclear.

"It burns beautifully. It's a Russian S-300. On Russian territory. The first days after permission to use Western weapons on enemy territory," Ukrainian government minister Iryna Vereshchuk posted on Facebook, with a picture purporting to show the strike.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Monday that the United States could face "fatal consequences" if it ignored Moscow's warnings not to let Ukraine use weapons provided by Washington to strike targets inside Russia.

"I would like to warn American leaders against miscalculations that could have fatal consequences. For unknown reasons, they underestimate the seriousness of the rebuff they may receive," state news agency RIA quoted Ryabkov as saying.

"I urge these figures (in the US) ... to spend some of their time, which they apparently spend on some kind of video games, judging by the lightness of their approach, on studying what was said in detail by Putin," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered "a very significant warning and it must be taken with the utmost seriousness", Ryabkov added.

US Vice-President Kamala Harris will travel to Switzerland for a Ukraine peace summit, officials said Monday, with Biden decided instead to attend an election fundraiser featuring actor George Clooney. Russia, however, will not attend the summit, saying it doesn't take Russia's interests into account.

China's Foreign Ministry has said that Beijing supports a conference that's accepted by both Russia and Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had been pushing for Biden to attend, with Kyiv looking for support as it tries to hold back a Russian offensive in Kharkiv.

The White House announced that the United States will be represented at the meeting in Lucerne on June 15 by Harris and national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

Agencies contributed to this story.

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