Russia’s foreign minister has warned Western powers to underestimate the “real” danger of nuclear conflict if they continue to transfer arms to Ukraine in what he says is an undeclared proxy. war.
Within hours of his statements, explosions were heard within Moldova’s sovereign borders. Ukrainian officials believe that Russia is conducting “false flag” operations in rebel-held pro-Russian Transnistria in order to justify expanding its imperial offensive to a second country.
The warning made by Sergei Lavrov, in a state television interview late on Monday evening, represented a dramatic rhetoric. Escalation from the Kremlin Facing an increasingly assertive international response to the Ukrainian crisis.
His comments were met with a sharp response from Lavrov’s counterpart in Kyiv, Dmytro Kuleba, who said that Russia had lost its “last hope of intimidating the world from supporting Ukraine… It only means that Moscow feels defeated in Ukraine.”
Lavrov, a veteran of Russian diplomacy, was asked in the interview about the risks of the Ukraine crisis escalating into a nuclear conflict, almost as happened with the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.
“The stakes are now high,” he said. I don’t want to artificially increase these risks. Many would like it. The danger is serious and real. “We must not underestimate it,” Lavrov said.
NATO is, in essence, engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and it is arming that proxy. War means war.”
Lavrov was speaking the next day with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met face to face In Kyiv with President Volodymyr Zelensky, he promised further military aid.
After initial reluctance from the Biden administration, which was reluctant to send weapons to Ukraine’s battlefields only so that they would end up in Russia’s hands, America is now all in its support of Kiev, hoping that Ukraine’s victory will neutralize the traditional Russian army. A threat to a generation.
On Tuesday, Austin was scheduled to host a meeting of 40 allied defense ministers at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to coordinate the international response to Russian aggression and ensure the continuous supply of heavy weapons, air defense systems and ammunition to the Ukrainian army. . In an important step, Germany, which has so far refused to supply Kyiv with heavy weapons, is expected to confirm that it will send 50 anti-aircraft tanks.
The Russian invasion began two months ago, on February 24, after that President Vladimir Putin He ordered a “special operation” to “discredit” Ukraine and liberate Russian-speaking towns and cities.
The original plan, as formulated by Putin and his generals, was for the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv to be in the hands of the Russians within three or four days, either killing Zelensky or running out of the city.
Five weeks later, with thousands of Russians killed and its forces destroyed by tactically superior Ukrainian defenders, Russia was forced to admit defeat at the Battle of Kyiv and refocus its offensive more clearly in southern and eastern Ukraine to take control of Donbass and establish a land bridge from southern Russia along the sea coast Black to Odessa.
Another element of Russia’s war plans became clearer last week when a Russian general, Rustam Minnikaev, defaulted that a proposed “land corridor” would extend all the way to Moldova, completely cutting off Ukraine from access to the sea.
Under these plans, Russian military control would extend all the way to the breakaway region of Transnistria Moldavia, where Russian-backed separatists declared independence 30 years ago and where Russia still has a military base.
Constitutionally neutral Moldova has done its best not to be drawn into the conflict – but Russia appears bent on dragging the former Soviet republic, which lies only to western Ukraine.
On Monday, attackers fired rocket-propelled grenades at an empty building of the security services in Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria. Officials in Moldova and Ukraine dismissed the operation as a Russian “pseudo-science”. The RPG launcher that was disposed of at the scene, of the type used by Russia and not Ukraine, was clearly marked “Z”.
Early Tuesday, explosions destroyed two nearby communications towers used to rebroadcast Russian radio and television stations across the region — not targets the Russians might choose to provoke.
The breakaway region, which Russia has funded for decades, has a population of nearly half a million, a third of whom are Russians, but with significant minorities in Moldova and Ukrainian. Long queues soon set up at the main border crossing into Moldova after Tuesday’s attacks, fueled by fears that the Russians might try to mobilize local residents to help fight in Ukraine.
Later on Tuesday, Putin was scheduled to meet in Moscow with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres – angering the Ukrainian government, which says he has no mandate to negotiate on their behalf.