Russia’s foreign minister urged the world not to underestimate the serious risks of a nuclear conflict and NATO arms deliveries Ukraine “Essentially” meant that the Western alliance was engaged in a proxy war with Russia.
In an interview on Russian state television, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was asked how important it was to avoid World War III and whether the current situation was comparable to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
“The risks are now significant,” Lavrov said, according to a transcript of the interview on the ministry’s website.
“I don’t want to artificially increase these risks. Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we mustn’t underestimate it.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he viewed Russia’s fear-mongering as a sign of weakness.
Russia has lost its “last hope of stopping the world from supporting Ukraine,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter after Lavrov’s interview. “It just means that Moscow senses defeat.”
During a visit to Kyiv on Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pledged more military aid to Ukraine.
The US State Department on Monday used a declaration of urgency to authorize the potential sale of $165 million worth of ammunition to Ukraine. The Pentagon said the package could include artillery ammunition for howitzers, tanks and grenade launchers.
Moscow’s ambassador in Washington urged the United States to halt supplies and warned that Western arms would fuel the conflict.
Lavrov said: “NATO is essentially engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy. War means war.”
Russia’s two-month invasion of Ukraine, the largest attack on a European state since 1945, has left thousands dead or injured, reduced cities to rubble and forced more than 5 million people to flee abroad.
Moscow is calling its actions a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and the West see this as a false pretext for an unprovoked war of aggression by President Vladimir Putin.
The United States is scheduled to host an expected gathering of more than 40 countries this week for Ukraine-related defense talks that will focus on arming Kiev, US officials said.
Britain said all tariffs on goods entering the country from Ukraine under an existing free trade deal would be scrapped and it would send new ambulances, fire engines, medical supplies and funds for health professionals to help emergency services.
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Monday it had declared 40 German diplomats “personae non gratae” in retaliation after Berlin expelled the same number of Russian diplomats.
Russia has not yet conquered any of the largest cities. Their forces were forced to withdraw from the outskirts of Kyiv in the face of stiff resistance.
“It is obvious that every day – and especially today, when the third month of our resistance has begun – everyone in Ukraine is worried about peace, about when it will all be over,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Monday evening.
“There is currently no easy answer to that.”
After failing to take the capital Kyiv, Moscow launched a massive attack last week to seize the eastern provinces known as the Donbas, which if successful would link territory held by pro-Russian separatists in the east with the Crimean region annexed by Moscow in 2014.
Ukraine’s General Staff said on Tuesday that the Russian offensive continued in the eastern Kharkiv region, with Russian forces attempting to advance toward Zavody.
Russia’s Defense Ministry earlier said its missiles destroyed six plants that powered the railways used to deliver foreign arms to Ukrainian forces in the Donbass region. Reuters could not verify the report. Read the full story
The head of Ukraine’s state railway company said one railway worker was killed and four wounded by Russian missile attacks on five Ukrainian railway stations on Monday.
Ukrainian forces repelled five Russian attacks and killed just over 200 Russian soldiers, Ukraine’s military command in the southern and eastern sectors said.
Five tanks were also destroyed, along with eight armored vehicles, a statement said.
Russia is believed to be trying to encircle heavily fortified Ukrainian positions in the east of the country, the British military said in an update on Tuesday.
The city of Kreminna has reportedly fallen, with heavy fighting south of the city of Izium as Russian forces attempt to advance on the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, Britain’s Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
The governor of Russia’s Belgorod province, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said Ukraine fired on two villages, wounding at least two people. Reuters was unable to verify the Ukrainian or Russian reports.
Russian forces on Monday continued to bomb and shell the huge Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, where militants are crouching in a city devastated by a siege and bombardment, Ukraine’s presidential aide Oleksiy Arestovych said.
Moscow said it was opening a humanitarian corridor to let civilians out of the plant, but Kyiv said no deal had been reached.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/russia-warns-the-world-nuclear-war-risks-now-considerable-41587655.html Russia warns risks of global nuclear war are now ‘significant’