Moscow has warned the West that it will face consequences if it does not stop encouraging Ukraine to launch attacks on Russian soil.
Arie Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, accused Western states of “aggression” and “using” the Ukrainian leadership to achieve their goals.
She also singled out British Armed Forces Secretary James Heappey, who earlier this week said it was “legitimate” for Ukraine to strike at Russia. Moscow claimed it was urging Ukraine to use NATO-provided weapons.
“We would like Kyiv and western capitals to take seriously the Russian Defense Ministry’s statement that another provocation leading Ukraine to attack Russian facilities will meet with a harsh response from Russia,” she said.
“Advisers from Western countries who are in Ukraine’s decision-making centers will not necessarily be a problem for Russia’s response efforts. We advise against further testing our patience.”
It was a follow-up to comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said on Wednesday that his response would be “lightning quick” should the West interfere in its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
The Kremlin has reported a series of explosions in southern Russia and a fire at a munitions depot, the latest in a string of incidents a senior Ukrainian official has described as revenge and “karma” for Moscow’s invasion.
To further strain tensions, an aide to Ukraine’s president said yesterday that the world recognizes his country has the right to defend itself by attacking Russian military bases and warehouses.
Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken – who visited Kyiv last week – said Ukraine must decide whether to attack Russian military bases.
“Russia attacked and (kills) civilians. Ukraine will defend itself in any way, including strikes against the killers’ warehouses and bases. The world recognizes this right,” wrote Presidential Advisor Mr. Podolyak.
It comes as Moldova’s pro-Russian breakaway region of Transnistria increased its terrorist threat level on Tuesday after two blasts damaged Soviet-era radio towers and reported that shots were fired overnight from Ukraine’s territory at a village where a large ammunition depot.
The region’s Interior Ministry also said it had spotted drones allegedly launched from Ukraine.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss urged Western allies to send tanks, warplanes and other heavy weapons to Ukraine, saying fears of an escalation of the war were misplaced and “inaction would be the greatest provocation”.
“This is a time for courage, not caution” among nations helping Ukraine fight Russia’s invasion, Ms Truss said.
“Heavy weapons, tanks, planes – we’re digging deep in our stockpiles, ramping up production. We have to do all of that,” Ms. Truss said.
However, in response to Ms Truss’s comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said yesterday that handing over heavy weapons to Kyiv would endanger the security of the European continent.
“In itself, the tendency to pump arms, including heavy weapons, into Ukraine and other countries are actions that threaten the security of the continent and create instability,” Peskov said.
Meanwhile, NATO has said it is ready to support Ukraine in the war against Russia for years, including helping Kiev transition from old Soviet-era weapons to modern Western military equipment, Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday.
“We have to be prepared for the long term…there is absolutely a possibility that this war will drag on and last for months and years,” Mr. Stoltenberg said.
Russia has also accused the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe of leaking information on the whereabouts of Russian and pro-Russian forces to Western and Ukrainian intelligence agencies, further frustrating the Kremlin.
Ms Zakharova said investigators from the self-proclaimed breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic, which is backed by Russia, would provide additional evidence. (© Independent News Service)
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/kremlin-warns-west-will-pay-for-any-attacks-on-russian-soil-41598853.html The Kremlin warns that the West will pay for any attacks on Russian soil