‘Lightning fast’ response if NATO intervenes in Ukraine: Putin 2022-04-27 15:54:40

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Western intervention in Ukraine will be met with a “lightning fast” military response.

The aggressive threat from Putin came as Russia claimed on Wednesday it had carried out a missile strike in southern Ukraine that destroyed a “large array” of weapons supplied by the West.

The Russian leader said that countries that help Ukraine “which push it to interfere in current events from the side and pose unacceptable strategic threats to Russia, should know that our response to counterpunches will be very fast.”

“We have all the tools that no one else can boast of having,” Putin told lawmakers in St. Petersburg, an implied reference to Moscow’s ballistic missiles and nuclear arsenal.

“We will not be proud of it: we will use it if necessary and I want everyone to know that. We have already made all the decisions about this.”

The Russian leader was not specific but recently oversaw the successful test of the Sarmat ICBM Russia is expected to spread soon Each is capable of carrying 10 or more nuclear warheads.

INTERACTIVE_UKRAINE_CONTROL MAP DAY63_April 27_INTERACTIVE Russia-Ukraine War Who Controls Day 63

‘They think it’s dangerous’

Putin promised to end what he called “special military operationTo seize territory from Ukraine, which Moscow historically considers Russian. He blamed NATO countries and their allies for instigating the ongoing battle in Ukraine.

“Countries that have historically tried to contain Russia do not need a huge, self-sufficient state like ours. They think that its existence is only dangerous for them. But this is far from the truth. It is they who threaten the whole world,” Putin said.

By launching the offensive in Ukraine, Putin said, he neutralized Russian forces “a real danger … a major conflict that could have unfolded on our territory according to other people’s texts.”

He claimed that NATO planned to use Ukraine as a route to invade Russia via Crimeawhich was annexed by Moscow in 2014, and the eastern border region controlled by the separatists.

All Special Military Operation Missions We take place in Donbass And Ukraine, launched on February 24, will be fulfilled unconditionally,” Putin said, adding that Western attempts to “strangle Russia economically” through sanctions have been unsuccessful.

slight gain

On the battlefield on Wednesday, fighting continued in eastern Ukraine along a largely static front line of about 480 kilometers (300 mi). Russia claimed that its missiles hit an array of weapons that the United States and European countries had delivered to Ukraine.

Western officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence findings, said Russia has made slow progress in the Donbass region in the east with “minor gains,” including capturing villages and small towns south of Izyum and on the outskirts of Robezhny.

Officials said the offensive continues to suffer from poor leadership, troop and equipment losses, bad weather, and strong Ukrainian resistance.

Some Russian troops were moved from the devastated southern port city of Mariupol to other parts of Donbass. But some remained in Mariupol to fight the Ukrainian forces holed up in the Azovstal steel mill, the city’s last stronghold. About 1,000 civilians were said to have taken refuge there, along with an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian gunners.

Across the border in Russia, an ammunition depot in the Belgorod region burned down on Wednesday afterwards Several explosions were heardThe governor said.

Explosions were also reported in Russia’s Kursk region near the Ukrainian border, and authorities in Russia’s Voronezh region said an air defense system had shot down a drone.

arming power supply

Polish and Bulgarian leaders accused Moscow of using natural gas to blackmail their country after the state-controlled Russian energy company stopped supplying it on Wednesday. EU leaders echoed those comments and held an emergency meeting on the Russian move.

Simon Tagliabitra, senior fellow at the Bruegel think-tank in Brussels, said Russia’s goal in cutting off the flow of gas is “divide and rule” — setting European countries against each other as they search for energy.

cut and The Kremlin warned that other countries could be next Chills caused alarm in the 27 European Union countries.

Germany, the continent’s largest economy, and Italy are among the largest consumers of Russian natural gas in Europe, although they have already taken steps to reduce their dependence on Moscow.

“It is no surprise that the Kremlin is using fossil fuels to try to blackmail us,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Today, the Kremlin has failed yet again in its attempt to sow division among the member states. The era of Russian fossil fuels in Europe is coming to an end. ”

The share of natural gas imports from Russia, 2020

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told the Polish parliament that he believed Poland’s support for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia were the real reasons behind the gas cut. Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov called the suspension decision blackmail, adding: “We will not succumb to such blackmail.”

Fatih Birol, executive director of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, said the power cut was “arming power supply“.

Europe is not without some leverage in the dispute, as it pays Russia $400 million a day for gas, money that Putin will lose in full cut.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the Russian demand to switch to paying for gas in rubles instead of in euros or US dollars resulted from Western measures that froze Russian assets in hard currency.

He said the West effectively “stealed” them in an “unprecedented unfriendly act”.

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