Vladimir Putin makes chilling threat to US over military aid

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Vladimir Putin has warned Russia will retaliate if the US sends its next planned bout of aid to Ukraine.

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine – which first began on 24 February – has surpassed 100 days.

In those 100 days, the West has imposed a series of sanctions on Russia, but also offered multiple support packages to Ukraine.

Despite initially deciding against sending advanced missile systems to Ukraine, on 31 May, US president Joe Biden announced the rockets will now be delivered to the war-torn country.

US president Joe Biden
US president Joe Biden

Today, Sunday 5 June, in an interview with reporter Pavel Zarubin for Moscow via Rossiya-1 TV Channel, Putin addressed Biden’s plans to send advanced, long-range rocket systems to Ukraine.

According to Russian news agency Tass, the Kremlin leader said: “If it now comes to rockets and they are supplied, we will draw conclusions from that and employ our weapons that we have in sufficient quantities to strike those facilities that we are not attacking so far.”

Putin even accused the US of deliberately ‘stretching out the armed conflict as long as possible’ by creating such a ‘fuss over additional deliveries of armaments’.

Read Also: Russian tank commander given life sentence in ukraine over killing unarmed civilian

Putin’s comments follow soon after an op-ed piece written by Biden on the last day of May for The New York Times.

The president: “As President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has said, ultimately this war ‘will only definitively end through diplomacy.’ Every negotiation reflects the facts on the ground. We have moved quickly to send Ukraine a significant amount of weaponry and ammunition so it can fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table.

“That’s why I’ve decided that we will provide the Ukrainians with more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine.

“We will continue providing Ukraine with advanced weaponry, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger antiaircraft missiles, powerful artillery and precision rocket systems, radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, Mi-17 helicopters and ammunition.”

The latest aid package from the US contains ‘1,000 Javelins and rocket-launcher systems called HIMARS’, according to the Pentagon.

Biden’s administration has revealed the package totals $700 million.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has previously called on the US to supply the country with more weapons, adding Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) to Ukraine’s wish list in recent weeks.

The long-range rocket systems far outreach any of the systems Ukraine is currently in possession of.

The request has become particularly poignant amid recent weeks of the invasion which have seen Russia continuing to bombard areas in eastern Ukraine.

Officials revealed Biden’s initial hesitancy to send such weaponry due to fears of Ukraine using the long-rage missiles to launch an offensive attack in Russia, instead of simply using them to defend its own country.

It is reported there have already been a series of attacks led by Ukraine inside of Russia. However, Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied such cross-border strikes.

Read Also: WHO passes resolution condemning Russia for causing health emergency in Ukraine

Putin’s words were foreshadowed by Olga Skabeeva, a prominent Russian TV host who runs a show on Rossiya-1.

The host stated: “The US intends to discuss the issue of supplying Ukraine with these weapons as soon as next week.

“At the present moment, the issue is being addressed by the US presidential administration. So now, we are not even talking about tactical weapons anymore, but about the operational-tactical weapons.

“The US MLRS can launch shells over 500 kilometers. And if the Americans do this, they will clearly cross a red line, and we will record an attempt to provoke a very harsh response from Russia.”

Russian state media has also warned the US that Putin could wipe out the entirety of the US with just four missiles.

 

www.unilad.co.uk

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