Russia sharpens warnings because the U.S. and Europe ship extra weapons to Ukraine

MOSCOW — As the U.S. and Europe increase navy support to Ukraine, Russian authorities have escalated warnings and criticism, arguing the help just isn’t solely fueling the battle but additionally boosting the danger of direct confrontation between Russia and NATO powers.

In some methods, Russian criticism over overseas navy help to Ukraine just isn’t new. Russian President Vladimir Putin seized on the supply of Western arms to Kyiv as a part of his rationale to launch what he insists is a restricted “special military operation” in February.

Yet as Russia’s said objectives in Ukraine have narrowed to the “liberation” of the japanese Donbas, the Kremlin’s amplified rhetoric displays efforts to construct public consensus for the necessity of a protracted — if not existential — battle with the West.

“The tendency to pump weapons, including heavy weapons into Ukraine and other countries, these are the actions that threaten the security of the continent, provoke instability,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov advised reporters Thursday. It was the newest in a sequence of statements from Moscow that the battle in Ukraine dangers spilling right into a wider battle with the West.

Peskov was reacting to an attraction by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss for Western international locations to “double down” on their navy help for the federal government in Kyiv.

“Heavy weapons, tanks, airplanes — digging deep into our inventories, ramping up production. We need to do all of this” for Ukraine, Truss mentioned in a speech on Wednesday in London.

On Thursday, President Biden requested Congress to approve $33 billion in support to Ukraine — greater than double what Washington has already dedicated because the begin of the battle final February. Nearly two-thirds of that quantity is for navy support.

This week, Germany’s parliament additionally authorised sending anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine.

Since the start of the battle, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made impassioned pleas for heavier and extra deadly weapons to stem the Russian assault. While Western allies have embraced the decision for support, they have been cautious to emphasise that their forces is not going to be a part of the battle.

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“We’re not attacking Russia; we’re helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression,” Biden mentioned in saying his push for brand new support.

Meanwhile, the rhetoric from Russia has grown extra heated with every passing day. On state tv on Monday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned the West is de facto engaged in a “proxy war” that might result in World War III. NATO shipments into Ukraine, he mentioned, can be considered as “legitimate targets” by Russia’s navy.

Maria Zakharova, the Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson, accused the West of masterminding a sequence of disputed assaults on Russian territory close to the Ukrainian border.

“In the West, they are openly calling on Kyiv to attack Russia, including with the use of weapons received from NATO countries. … I don’t advise you to test our patience,” she mentioned Thursday.

Sergei Naryshkin, the pinnacle of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Services claimed that very same day to have uncovered a U.S.-Polish plot to ship forces into western Ukraine below the guise of a “peacekeeping contingent.” Their aim, Naryshkin claimed, with out offering proof, was to grab Ukrainian territory for themselves.

Then there was Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, who advised Russia’s official state newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta on Tuesday that the U.S. — having didn’t subdue Russia after the top of the Cold War — is now intent on its destruction.

“America divided the world into vassals and enemies long ago,” Patrushev mentioned.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued his personal warnings, too. Interference from exterior powers in Ukraine is creating “strategic threats” to Russia itself, he mentioned Wednesday — at the same time as he boasted Russia’s defenses had been as much as the problem.

The West “should know that our retaliatory strikes will be lightning-fast,” Putin mentioned in a speech to attorneys in St. Petersburg. “We have all the tools for this, things no one else can boast of having now. And we will not boast about it, we will just use them if necessary.”

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