Sullivan Greenlights Ukraine Cross-Border Attacks Beyond Kharkiv Region With US Arms

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024 - 01:30 AM

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has said that authorization for Ukrainian use of American weapons for cross-border attacks extends not just to the Kharkiv region, but into other Russian regions as well, further escalating Biden's initial greenlight for such offensive operations.

Blinken in a Monday PBS interview told NewsHour's Nick Schifrin "This is not about geography, it's about common sense" and expanded the parameters for using NATO-supplied missiles. Watch the exchange below:

The following is what was said in this opening section of the interview:

Schifrin: Does the agreement that you have made with Ukraine to allow Ukraine to fire American weapons just over the border into Russia at Russian forces that are about to attack into Ukraine, does that extend beyond the Kharkiv region, including into the Sumy region, where Russian forces have also been targeting Ukraine?

Sullivan: It extends to anywhere that Russian forces are coming across the border from the Russian side to the Ukrainian side to try to take additional Ukrainian territory.

Schifrin: So, that could include the Sumy region?

Sullivan: That's happened in Kharkiv.

We have seen initial indications that Russia has made exploratory moves across in Sumy. And so it would apply there as well. This is not about geography. It's about common sense. If Russia is attacking or about to attack from its territory into Ukraine, it only makes sense to allow Ukraine to hit back against the forces that are hitting it from across the border.

That's when the interviewer pointed out the obvious--that this policy will lead to open-ended and uncontrollable escalation given it takes away all parameters. "Of course, Russia is attacking Ukraine from all parts of Russia. Why draw the line there?" Schifrin asked.

Sullivan at this point essentially gave Kiev the greenlight to attack a much more expanded area inside Russia. "Well, first, we are permitting Ukrainian forces to attack Russian forces using Russia as a sanctuary in the areas where on the battlefield they are attacking from inside Russia with artillery, with other ground-based munitions," Biden's top security official said.

And what's more is that when asked about F-16s, Sullivan affirmed that Ukraine can use the US-made jets to attack Russia. Sullivan explained:

"...we have made clear — and we have seen over the course of the past two years Ukraine do this — that they can use air defense systems, including those supplied by the United States, to take Russian planes out of the sky, even if those Russian planes are in Russian airspace, if they're about to fire into Ukrainian airspace."

Situation in Ukraine as of late May. Source: liveuamap.

President Putin in late March had addressed this possibility. He said that Russian forces would then have to right to attack any airbase from which these F-16s are flown, including if they take off from within Western countries or NATO bases.

Commenting on the fresh and escalatory Sullivan remarks, independent journalist Michael Tracey said to "Expect the parameters of this bold new policy to continue to grow."