CONCLUSION 3-Russia warns that the risks of nuclear war are now “considerable”
The Russian foreign minister told the world not to underestimate the enormous risks of nuclear conflict, and NATO’s supply of arms to Ukraine “essentially” meant that the Western alliance was engaged in a proxy war with Russia.
Interviewed by Russian state television, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was asked about the importance of avoiding World War III and whether the current situation is comparable to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. “The risks are now considerable,” Lavrov said according to a transcript of the interview on the ministry’s website.
“I wouldn’t want to artificially increase those risks. Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we shouldn’t underestimate it.” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he viewed Russia’s alarmism as a sign of weakness.
Russia had lost its “last hope to dissuade the world from supporting Ukraine,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter after Lavrov’s interview. “It only means that Moscow feels defeat.” During a visit to kyiv on Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pledged more military aid to Ukraine.
The US State Department used an emergency declaration on Monday to approve the potential sale of $165 million worth of munitions to Ukraine. The Pentagon said the package could include artillery ammunition for howitzers, tanks and grenade launchers. Moscow’s ambassador to Washington has told the United States to stop deliveries, warning that Western weapons are fueling the conflict.
Lavrov said, “NATO, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy. War means war.” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two months ago, the biggest attack on a European state since 1945, left thousands dead or injured, reduced cities to rubble and forced more than 5 million people to flee abroad.
Moscow calls its actions a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and the West say this is a false pretext for an unprovoked war of aggression by President Vladimir Putin. The United States is to host a gathering of more than 40 countries this week for Ukraine-related defense talks that will focus on arming kyiv, U.S. officials said.
Britain said all tariffs on goods entering the country from Ukraine under an existing free trade agreement would be scrapped and it would send new ambulances, fire engines, medical supplies and funding for health experts to help emergency services. The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday it had declared 40 German diplomatic staff “personae non gratae” in retaliation after Berlin expelled the same number of Russian diplomats.
WAR RAGES IN THE SOUTH AND EAST Russia has yet to capture any of the largest cities. His forces were forced to withdraw from the outskirts of Kyiv in the face of heavy resistance.
“It is obvious that every day – and especially today, when the third month of our resistance has begun – everyone in Ukraine is concerned about peace, about when all this will be over,” said Monday the President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. “There is no simple answer to this at the moment.”
Having failed to take the capital kyiv, Moscow launched a massive assault last week in an attempt to seize the eastern provinces known as Donbass, which, if successful, would connect separatist-held territory in the east with the Crimean region which Moscow annexed in 2014. The Ukrainian General Staff said on Tuesday that the Russian offensive continued in the eastern region of Kharkiv, with Russian forces trying to advance towards Zavody.
The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier that its missiles destroyed six facilities supplying railways used to deliver foreign weapons to Ukrainian forces in the Donbass region. Reuters could not verify the report. The head of Ukraine’s state-owned railway company said a railway worker was killed and four injured when Russian missiles fired at five Ukrainian stations on Monday.
Ukrainian forces repelled five Russian attacks and killed just over 200 Russian servicemen, the Ukrainian military command in the southern and eastern sectors said. Five tanks were also destroyed, along with eight armored vehicles, he said in a statement.
Russia is likely trying to encircle heavily fortified Ukrainian positions in the east of the country, the British military said in an update on Tuesday. Reports say the town of Kreminna has fallen, with heavy fighting in the southern town of Ilium, as Russian forces try to advance towards the towns of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, the UK Ministry of Defense said on Twitter.
The governor of Russia’s Belgorod province, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said Ukraine fired on two villages and at least two people were injured. Reuters was unable to verify the Ukrainian or Russian reports. Russian forces continued shelling and shelling the sprawling Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol on Monday where fighters are entrenched in a city ravaged by siege and shelling, Ukrainian presidential aide Oleksiy Arestovych said.
Moscow said it was opening a humanitarian corridor to let civilians out of the factory, but kyiv said no deal had been reached.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)