LONDON, UK – Russia warned the West on Thursday, April 28, that any further attack on Russian territory will be met with a harsh military reaction, accusing the US and its major allies of weakening European security by publicly pushing Ukraine to attack Russia.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 killed hundreds of people, displaced millions more, and sparked concerns about the most severe conflict between Russia and the US since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Russia has reported a series of strikes by Ukrainian forces on Russian territories bordering Ukraine in recent days, two months after it invaded Ukraine, and has warned that such actions threaten a substantial escalation.
Ukraine has not openly admitted involvement in the events, but claims they are retaliation, while Russia has reacted angrily to assertions from NATO member Britain that it is permissible for Ukraine to attack Russian supplies.
“They are openly calling on Kyiv to attack Russia, including with NATO-supplied weaponry,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow.
“I don’t recommend that you continue to strain our patience.”
The Kremlin said that Western – particularly British – initiatives to provide Ukraine with heavy weaponry posed a threat to Europe’s security.
“In itself, the tendency to pump weapons, including heavy weapons, to Ukraine and other countries are actions that threaten the security of the continent and provoke instability,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
The Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergei Naryshkin, has accused the US and Poland of attempting to acquire a sphere of influence in Ukraine, sending the clearest hint yet from Moscow that the war may end with the forced split of Ukraine between the West and Russia.
Warning from Moscow.
If such assaults continue, Russia’s military ministry said on Tuesday that it will target decision-making centers in Ukraine, including those where it claims Western advisers are assisting Kyiv.
“Kyiv and Western capitals should take the Ministry of Defense’s comments seriously,” Zakharova said, adding that “further incitement of Ukraine to strike Russian territory would undoubtedly result in a harsh response from Russia.”
Zakharova cast Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a puppet of the West, who was being used by the United States to threaten Russia.
“You are being used,” Zakharova said.
Although the US has ruled out deploying its own or NATO soldiers to Ukraine, it has provided Kyiv with weaponry like drones, Howitzer heavy artillery, anti-aircraft Stinger, and anti-tank Javelin missiles.
Total US security assistance since the invasion amounts to about $3.7 billion, a US. official said.
Such big military shipments, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, are part of a larger scheme by the US and its allies to destroy Russia — a plan that will never succeed.
Putin claims that the “special military operation” in Ukraine is required because the US was using Ukraine to threaten Russia, and Moscow needed to safeguard Russian-speaking people.
He portrays the fight as an unavoidable clash with the United States, which he accuses of posing a threat to Russia by intervening in its domestic affairs and expanding the NATO military alliance.
Ukraine maintains it is fighting an imperial territorial grab, and Putin’s accusations of genocide are false. Zelensky has pleaded with the US. European leaders will provide Kyiv with more powerful weapons and equipment.