Germany: Ukraine can use its weapons to strike Russian territory near Kharkiv

It comes after the Netherlands and Denmark recently declared they would not object to their supplied F-16 fighter jets being used to strike military sites inside Russia.

Germany has stated that Ukraine is permitted under international law to deploy German-supplied weapons to defend against Russian attacks originating from across the border region near Kharkiv, according to a government spokesperson.

The comments reinforce a shifting European stance that could allow Ukraine more leeway to take its counteroffensive into Russian territory. It comes after the Netherlands and Denmark recently declared they would not object to their supplied F-16 fighter jets being used to strike military sites inside Russia.

However, Germany’s remarks were more narrowly focused on allowing defensive actions specifically in the embattled Kharkiv region, which has witnessed some of the fiercest fighting and Russian bombardment since the invasion began in February 2022.

Kharkiv’s proximity to the Russian border has made it a prime target for Moscow’s artillery and missile strikes from positions within Russia itself. Ukrainian officials have pleaded for months to be allowed to strike at these cross-border Russian firing positions and storage depots in self-defence.

The green light from Berlin suggests Germany may permit the deployment of its heavy artillery, armoured vehicles, or air defence systems against Russian forces attacking from temporary bases inside its territory near Kharkiv.

Germany had previously been more reserved about condoning any offensive actions by Ukraine within Russia’s borders, concerned about potential escalation risks.

But with Russia’s invasion forces digging in across occupied areas of eastern and southern Ukraine, the European Union’s economic powerhouse now appears willing to allow Kyiv more flexibility in neutralizing threats emanating from Russian soil near Kharkiv.

As Ukraine continues pleading for longer-range weapons ahead of an expected escalation in fighting, the policy shifts from Europe’s top powers could ease restrictions on deploying those arms against rear Russian positions.