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US doesn’t change policy on Ukrainian strikes inside Russia after attack on children’s hospital

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The U.S. will not permit Ukraine to strike deeper inside Russian territory following the deadly July 8 attack, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said during a press briefing.

“There’s been no change in our policy. You saw the president several weeks ago gave guidance to Ukraine that they can use U.S.-supplied weapons to strike targets just over the border. That’s still the case,” Kirby told reporters on July 8.

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told PBS News in June that Ukraine was allowed to strike “anywhere that Russian forces are coming across the border from the Russian side to the Ukrainian side to try to take additional Ukrainian territory.”

The Russian military struck the Okhmatdyt hospital, Ukraine’s largest children’s medical center, with a Kh-101 cruise missile, according to the preliminary data obtained by the State Security Service (SBU). At least two people were killed and 50 injured, including seven children, according to local authorities.

Kirby added that it is part of the course for “Putin to hit civilian infrastructure” and he “doesn’t care if people are in hospitals or residential buildings.”

Across the country, over 170 people were injured, while at least 37 were confirmed killed due to the July 8 Russian attack, President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

As the NATO summit officially begins on July 9 at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, Kirby said there will be “a very strong set of signals and messages to Mr. Putin that he cannot wait out NATO, he cannot wait out the United States. We are going to continue to support Ukraine.”

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