Russia says it could target Western arms deliveries to Ukraine.

March 13, 2022, 3:32 pm

Rus­sia has said its troops may tar­get West­ern arms sup­plies in Ukraine, where the Russ­ian mil­i­tary has been advanc­ing since late February.

‘We have warned the Unit­ed States that the orches­trat­ed pump­ing of weapons from a num­ber of coun­tries is not just a dan­ger­ous move, it is a move that turns these con­voys into legit­i­mate tar­gets,’ the deputy said on Sat­ur­day. ‑Russ­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Ryabkov on state television.

He said Moscow had warned “of the con­se­quences of the thought­less trans­fer to Ukraine of weapons such as man-portable air defense sys­tems, anti-tank mis­sile sys­tems, etc.

Ryabkov said Wash­ing­ton had not tak­en Moscow’s warn­ings seri­ous­ly and added that Rus­sia and the Unit­ed States were not car­ry­ing out any “nego­ti­at­ing process” on Ukraine.

Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin sent Russ­ian troops to Ukraine on Feb­ru­ary 24 and said he aimed to “denaz­i­fy” the country.

Moscow has been hit by a bar­rage of inter­na­tion­al sanc­tions since Putin sent in troops.

Ukrain­ian Pres­i­dent Volodymyr Zelen­sky has repeat­ed­ly called on West­ern pow­ers to pro­vide more mil­i­tary aid to his coun­try, warn­ing that the Russ­ian mil­i­tary would not stop at Ukraine’s bor­ders if Moscow took full control.

While the Unit­ed States and NATO have reject­ed Zelen­skyy’s repeat­ed calls for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, they are ship­ping weapons to Ukraine at break­neck speed, includ­ing items very sen­si­tive such as shoul­der-fired mis­siles called man-portable air defense sys­tems (MANPADS). who can shoot down planes.

West­ern arms ship­ments were vital in enabling the Ukraini­ans to fight the invad­ing Russ­ian forces far more effec­tive­ly and fierce­ly than Amer­i­can intel­li­gence hoped.

The US Sen­ate on Thurs­day approved $6.5 bil­lion in mil­i­tary aid to Ukraine.

For the first time in its his­to­ry, the Euro­pean Union funds the pur­chase and deliv­ery of weapons after the lead­ers agreed to trans­port weapons worth 450 mil­lion euros (502 mil­lion dol­lars) to Kyiv .

Two days into Rus­si­a’s inva­sion of Ukraine, Berlin announced it would pro­vide 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger mis­siles, revers­ing its pol­i­cy of ban­ning arms exports to con­flict zones .

In a sim­i­lar pol­i­cy shift, the Nor­we­gian gov­ern­ment also said in late Feb­ru­ary that it would donate up to 2,000 M72 anti-tank weapons.

On Sat­ur­day, Ukrain­ian civil­ian fight­ers and res­i­dents of the cap­i­tal braced for a major attack as Russ­ian forces sur­round­ed the city with troops and artillery a few miles away.

Fight­ing raged north­west of Kiev, with the bulk of Russ­ian ground forces 25 km (16 miles) from the cen­ter of the Ukrain­ian capital.

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