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18 May, 2024 00:28

West ‘playing with fire’ – Moscow

Ukraine has increased attacks on Russian border regions using NATO-supplied missiles and bombs
West ‘playing with fire’ – Moscow

The West is risking further escalation by arming Ukraine and encouraging it to strike Russian territory, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

Ukrainian strikes on Russian cities have intensified since Kiev began losing ground in Kharkov Region.

“The profile of the American and British handlers of the [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky regime is clearly visible behind these barbaric attacks,” Zakharova told reporters. “They are not only providing longer-range missiles and heavy weapons, but are giving the green light for their use against Russia.”

“Once again, we would like to unequivocally warn Washington, London, Brussels and other Western capitals, as well as Kiev, which is under their control, that they are playing with fire. Russia will not leave such encroachments on its territory unanswered,” the spokeswoman stressed.

On Thursday and Friday, Ukrainian troops launched a combined assault on Crimea, Krasnodar and other Russian regions using UAVs and naval drones. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, more than 100 drones were intercepted mid-air, while six unmanned boats were destroyed by the Black Sea Fleet.

During its briefing on Friday, the MOD added that over the past week Russian troops have intercepted dozens of US-made ATACMS missiles, as well as nearly 200 rockets, including projectiles fired from US-made HIMARS and Czech-made Vampire launchers. Hammer guided bombs delivered by France, Storm Shadow cruise missiles made by the UK, and nearly 330 UAVs were also used in the attacks, it said.

A total of 19 civilians were killed in Russia’s Belgorod region on May 12 alone, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said. On Friday, Gladkov wrote on Telegram that a Ukrainian drone had hit a civilian car in Belgorod, killing a mother and her four-year-old daughter.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated that the shelling of residential areas is pushing Moscow to create a buffer zone along the border with Ukraine. “If this continues, we will be forced to create a security zone. This is what we are doing,” he said during his trip to China.

Last month, the New York Times cited senior Pentagon officials as saying that the US had allowed Ukraine to use ATACMS missiles against targets in Crimea. British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed to journalists on Tuesday that London allows Kiev to strike Crimea with UK-supplied weapons.

The largely Russian-speaking peninsula voted in 2014 to leave Ukraine and join Russia following the Western-backed coup in Kiev that took place earlier that year.