Putin threatens to send advanced missile systems to bolster global allies

Vladimir Putin yesterday offered to send advanced weapons to bolster his allies around the world after promising to strengthen ties with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

he Russian president boasted about the Kremlin’s arsenal at his country’s annual arms fair, which traditionally draws delegations from around the world.

However, Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine made this year’s conference a much more low-key event. His claims about shipping high-tech weapons abroad came despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which led to significant shortages and production problems in high-precision weapons.

He said Russia could offer new models and systems. “We are talking about high-precision weapons and robotics, about combat systems based on new physical principles.

“Many of them are ahead of their foreign counterparts by years or maybe decades, and in terms of tactical and technical characteristics they are clearly superior to them,” he said.

Mr Putin and Kim yesterday vowed to strengthen ties, fueling speculation that Pyongyang may offer Russia weapons it has been stockpiling for decades.

In his speech at the arms fair yesterday, Mr Putin tried to dispel hints about Russia’s increasing international isolation, praising Russia’s allies in Latin America, Asia and Africa and offering to share Russia’s cutting-edge weapons and technology with them.

“[We] are ready to offer our allies the most modern types of weapons, from small arms, armored vehicles and artillery to fighter jets and unnamed aircraft,” he said.

“Almost all have been used more than once in actual combat operations.”

Officials deployed by Ukraine and Russia yesterday reported shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, with both sides blaming each other days after the world nuclear watchdog warned of a catastrophe if fighting doesn’t stop.

Russia and Ukraine this month exchanged accusations of shelling near the facility, which dominates the south bank of a huge reservoir on the Dnipro River, amid fears of a nuclear disaster.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned Russian soldiers attacking or firing from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant will become a “special target”.

The facility is located in the now Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar. Yevhen Yevtushenko, head of the Nikopol district administration, which is across the river from Enerhodar, accused Russian forces of shelling the city.

Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-deployed official at Enerhodar, said about 25 artillery strikes from US-made M777 howitzers have taken place near the nuclear power plant and residential areas over the past two hours.

Russian news agency Interfax quoted the press service of the Russian-appointed government of Enerhodar as saying Ukrainian forces opened fire.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is seeking access to the facility, has warned of a potential disaster. Nuclear experts fear the fighting could damage the spent fuel facility’s pools or reactors.

“The Russians believe they can force the world to comply with their terms by shelling the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant,” wrote Andriy Yermak, head of Ukraine’s presidential staff, on Twitter. “That will not happen. Instead, our military will punish them by hitting pain points hard and precisely.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for the establishment of a demilitarized zone around Zaporizhia. The UN has the logistical and security capabilities to support an IAEA visit if both Russia and Ukraine agree.

Meanwhile, Ukraine used US-supplied Himars to demolish the military headquarters of Russia’s private military company Wagner, after a Russian state TV reporter apparently revealed its location by posting photos online.

A Ukrainian official confirmed yesterday to Russian media reports that the Popasna base in eastern Ukraine was the target of a Ukrainian missile attack, killing up to 100 militants, according to some estimates.

Officials did not comment on rumors that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner group known as “Putin’s cook,” was also killed in the strike.

Speculations about Mr Prigozhin’s death were fueled on Sunday by a Donetsk rebel official who quoted a friend who said he was missing.

Footage and video from the scene showed a bombed-out home apparently used by mercenaries previously deployed in Syria and Mali.

“We’re digging up our people in Popasna,” a Russian Telegram channel said yesterday in a caption for a photo showing four men carrying a stretcher with one injured over scattered debris.

(© Telegraph Media Group Ltd. 2022)

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/putin-threatens-to-send-advanced-missiles-systems-to-boost-global-allies-41914192.html Putin threatens to send advanced missile systems to bolster global allies

Fry Electronics Team

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