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White House: Russian advance on Kharkiv 'stalled' after Ukraine's strikes inside Russia


FILE - A Ukrainian serviceman prepares a first-person view (FPV) drone before flying it over positions of Russian troops, amid Russia's attacks on its neighbor, in Ukraine's Kharkiv region, May 25, 2024.
FILE - A Ukrainian serviceman prepares a first-person view (FPV) drone before flying it over positions of Russian troops, amid Russia's attacks on its neighbor, in Ukraine's Kharkiv region, May 25, 2024.

Russia's advance on Kharkiv "has stalled," after the United States partially allowed Ukraine to use U.S.-provided weapons to strike targets inside Russia, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday.

"Kharkiv is still under threat but Russians have not been able to make material progress on the ground in recent days in that area," Sullivan said during an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Sullivan said Washington gave the green light for Ukraine’s use of some U.S. weapons to defend its Kharkiv region, on the border with Russia, despite previous concerns that such strikes could drag the NATO military alliance into a direct conflict with Russia.

"From the president's perspective, this was common sense," Sullivan said, pointing out that Ukrainians should be able to fire at Russian encampments and weaponry fired at them.

NATO allies such as France and Germany have also followed Washington’s example allowing Ukraine to use some of its Western-provided weapons for attacks inside Russia, along the border in the Kharkiv region.

The Kremlin has warned that such a decision could lead to a widening of the conflict in Europe that could entangle Western allies against Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also warned the United States and NATO allies that such a move could prompt him to place similar Russian weapons in countries within range of the U.S. or its European allies.

Frozen Russian assets

During a state visit to France, U.S. President Joe Biden said Sunday that he and French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, agreed on using profits from around $280 billion in frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine’s war effort against Russian aggression.

These Russian central bank funds are frozen worldwide, most of it in the EU.

The idea, initiated by the U.S., is to use this profit as a steady revenue stream to service a large loan of $50 billion toward Ukraine’s defense and infrastructure.

Some countries have expressed misgivings about tapping profits from the frozen Russian assets, but a U.S. Treasury official said Tuesday that the United States and its partners in the G7, the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations, were making progress.

Russia says any diversion of the profits from its frozen funds would amount to theft.

The Russian frozen funds generate $2.7 billion to $3.8 billion a year in profit, which the European Union says is not contractually owed to Russia and therefore represents a windfall.

U.S. officials expect the G7 wealthy democracies to send a tough new warning next week to smaller Chinese banks to stop assisting Russia in evading Western sanctions, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Negotiations were still ongoing about the exact format and content of the warning, according to the people, who declined to be named discussing ongoing diplomatic engagements. The plans to address the topic at the G7 were not previously reported.

Daleep Singh, deputy national security adviser for international economics, told the Center for a New American Security this week that he expected G7 leaders to target China's support for Russia's economy when they gather in Italy for a summit June 13-15.

"Our concern is that China is increasingly the factory of the Russian war machine. You can call it the arsenal of autocracy when you consider Russia's military ambitions threaten obviously the existence of Ukraine, but increasingly European security, NATO and transatlantic security," he said.

"We are not going to let that happen," Biden told journalists when the spoke of Russia’s potential threat to Europe, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris.


Two civilians were killed in Ukrainian attacks on Russian-controlled areas of eastern and southern Ukraine, Moscow-installed officials there said Sunday.

One man was killed, and a woman wounded by artillery fire that hit the town of Nova Maiachka in the southern Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, its pro-Russian governor, wrote on Telegram.

Another man was killed in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine by an explosive dropped from a drone, according to Alexei Kulemzin, the city's Russia-installed mayor.

The Reuters news agency could not independently verify the incidents.

At least 25 civilians were killed Friday in two separate attacks in the Russia-held part of the Kherson region and city of Luhansk — which Russia-installed officials blamed on Ukrainian forces.

Ukrainian forces have for the first time hit a latest-generation Russian Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet at an air base inside Russia, Kyiv's GUR defense intelligence agency said Sunday, showing satellite pictures which it said confirmed the strike.

In a Telegram post, the GUR did not specify how the Su-57 was hit or by which unit of the Ukrainian military.

A popular Russian pro-war military blogger who calls himself Fighterbomber and focuses on aviation said the report of the strike on the Su-57 was correct and that it had been hit by a drone.

The GUR said the aircraft was parked at the Akhtubinsk airfield, which it said was 589 km from the front lines in Ukraine between Ukrainian and Russian forces.

Ukraine and Russia exchanged airstrikes early Saturday with Russia suffering casualties as Ukraine’s drone attacks on the Russia-held Kherson and Luhansk regions left at least 28 people dead and 60 wounded. Russian airstrikes in eastern Ukraine damaged only buildings and power lines.

The attacks were reported by Russian state news Tass and Ukrainian officials respectively.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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