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Updated May 31, 2024, 10:05am EDT
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Semafor Signals

More NATO allies are allowing Ukraine to use Western weapons in Russia

Insights from New Lines, Politico, and Forbes

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President Joe Biden pictured smiling while walking with Volodymyr Zelenskyy
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The News

Germany announced Friday that Ukraine can use German weapons to hit targets on Russian soil, the latest reversal of policy after the US and a number of other NATO countries have given Kyiv permission to use their weapons to hit Russia. The Kremlin has warned that this amounts to a direct provocation by NATO, and would have “inevitable” consequences.

The US has allowed Ukraine to conduct limited strikes on Russia to protect Kharkiv, but has restricted longer-range strikes.

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Democratic Rep. Jake Auchincloss told Semafor that the policy change is “not enough” and that the Biden administration “should authorize all weapons to be used to strike any site within Russia that has military application,” including energy infrastructure, troops, and industrial sites.

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SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

US limits on weapon use could hurt Ukraine long-term

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Source:  
Atlantic Council, New Lines, and Politico

Russia’s Kharkiv offensive highlighted the “military absurdity” of current restrictions on how US weapons are used by Ukraine, according to the Atlantic Council, enabling Russia to use its border with Ukraine “as a safe haven” for troops and supplies. As long as Ukraine can’t use the weapons it has to defend itself by striking within Russia — including the border region — it is unlikely to win, argued one op-ed in global policy magazine New Lines. “It’s unfair that Ukraine is being asked to fight as the US armed forces would never fight,” a military analyst at the Ukrainian National Institute for Strategic Studies told Politico.

Putin’s nuclear saber-rattling may be just that

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Source:  
Chatham House, Forbes

“Actual use of nuclear weapons by Russia remains not impossible but highly unlikely,” Russian military expert Keir Giles wrote in a recent Chatham House paper. Yet the Biden administration’s caution in keeping NATO — and the US — out of direct involvement in Ukraine is “essentially rewarding nuclear intimidation, and encouraging nuclear proliferation,” if it continues, an expert at the Military Institute for Aerospace Studies aerospace think tank argued in Forbes. “China, other nuclear-armed powers, and Iran are closely watching,” he added.

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