Putin Threatens to Escalate War If Ukraine Receives Long-Range Missiles

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday threatened to further escalate the war in Ukraine in light of Western countries’ continued military assistance to the former Soviet state, warning the U.S. and other countries against providing long-range rocket systems capable of hitting targets in Russia.

A shipment of such weapons would prompt Russian forces to target “objects that we haven’t yet struck,” saidPutin during a televised interview.

The Russian president made the remarks as follows at least five airstrikesAfter weeks of relative calm in Kiev, fighting continued in eastern Donbas.

Ukraine denied claims by Russia that it had destroyed tanks sent by Western countries, with the country’s railroad chief saying the Russians had attacked grain wagons — further threatening food supplies for the rest of the world.

Last week, the U.S. declared that it had approved a $700million security assistance package for Ukraine. This included four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems that can strike Russian targets up to 50 miles away.

AsCommon Dreams reported on Tuesday, peace groups including CodePink, which has consistently advocated for the U.S. to lead efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement between Russia and Ukraine, warned that the decision to arm the Ukrainians with a more advanced missile system added “fuel to the fire deliberately.”

Putin on Sunday asserted the delivery of increasingly advanced Western weapons “has only one goal: To drag out the armed conflict as much as possible.”

Analysts and peace advocates sayNow past its 100th birthday, the conflict has descended into a proxy war between NATO-Moscow with no end in view.

The Biden administration said last week that it had provided the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems to Ukraine after getting assurances that the country would not use the weapons to attack inside Russia, but Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, said the shipment represented “the slippery slope leading to a direct U.S. confrontation with Russia.”

Meanwhile, Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-run agency that operates its four nuclear power stations, warned that a Russian cruise missile “flew critically low” over the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear plant near the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk on Sunday morning.

Russian forces “still do not understand that even the smallest fragment of a missile that can hit a working power unit can cause a nuclear catastrophe and radiation leak,” the agency said.

CNN reportedSaturday saw the U.S. and its allies meet regularly to discuss the end of the war through a negotiation. Officials discussed one proposal to Ukraine, which was to stay out of NATO in return for security assurances and to negotiate with Russia over the future of Crimea.

Ukraine is focused on winning a decisive victory in the eastern and southern regions and is unlikely to support any deal “that cedes territory,” one official told CNN.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General said that while “almost all wars end at some stage at the negotiating table,” officials “have to be prepared for the long haul… because what we see is that this war has now become a war of attrition.”

One last thing — and it’s important that you see it.

Over the past several years we’ve lost vital independent publications as the corporate takeover of media continues. Beloved media organisations have lost funding; well respected, truth-telling journalist have been left without work; and every day, more information is hidden behind paywalls that stop access to vital news. It’s difficult to overstate the severity of the situation.

Truthout is one of the last bastions of truly independent journalism – no paywalls, no subscriptions, not even advertisements. We are unable to sustain an almost entirely independent model funded by individual donors. It’s a gamble we take each month, hoping that enough of our readers will come through to keep our lights on. But despite the risk, we believe it’s worth it. We cannot compromise our values to please corporate funders.

There aren’t many organizations like ours left and we’re fundraising urgently over the next two days to ensure that TruthoutThese lean times can be survived. We’re saddened as we look around at our peer organizations and see fewer each year. But, as long as TruthoutIf you are online, you will have at least one voice of truthfulness and transparency in the midst of increasing corporate media noise. Please – if you value the role TruthoutHelp us to play a role in the information landscape by making a monthly, tax-deductible donation before it is too late.

Donate Now