It has now been over two months since Russia first invaded Ukraine and despite almost the whole world boycotting Russia, there seems to be no ceasing of threats from their end.
The latest? Nuclear war.
Russia Warns Not to Underestimate Nuclear War Risks
Interviewed by Russian state television, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was asked about the importance of avoiding World War Three and whether the current situation was comparable to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
“The risks now are considerable,” Lavrov said according to a transcript of the interview on the ministry’s website.
He then told the world not to underestimate the risks of nuclear war conflict, adding that Nato’s supply of weapons to Ukraine “in essence” meant that the Western alliance was now engaged in a proxy war with Russia.
Ukraine Not Alarmed
In response, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he regarded Russia’s scaremongering as a sign of weakness.
In a Twitter post, Kuleba wrote that Russia had lost its “last hope to scare the world off supporting Ukraine,” adding that it “only means Moscow senses defeat”.
Russia loses last hope to scare the world off supporting Ukraine. Thus the talk of a ‘real’ danger of WWIII. This only means Moscow senses defeat in Ukraine. Therefore, the world must double down on supporting Ukraine so that we prevail and safeguard European and global security.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) April 25, 2022
US Military Aid Instigates Russia
During a visit to Kyiv on Sunday (24 Apr), U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin promised more military aid for Ukraine.
The next day, the US State Department used an emergency declaration to approve the potential sale of US$165 million worth of ammunition to Ukraine.
The Pentagon said the package could include artillery ammunition for howitzers, tanks and grenade launchers.
However, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington told the United States to halt shipments, warning Western weapons were inflaming the conflict.
“Nato, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy. War means war,” declared Lavrov.
Progression of Events
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the biggest attack on a European state since 1945, has left thousands dead or injured, reduced towns and cities to rubble, and displaced over 5 million people.
However, Moscow claims its actions are a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists.
On the other hand, Ukraine and the West say this is a false pretext for an unprovoked war of aggression by President Vladimir Putin.
This week, the US is set to host an expected gathering of more than 40 countries for Ukraine-related defence talks that will focus on arming Kyiv.
Britain said all tariffs on goods coming into the country from Ukraine under an existing free trade deal will be axed and it would send new ambulances, fire engines, medical supplies and funding for health experts to help the emergency services.
On Monday (25 Apr), Russia’s foreign ministry declared 40 German diplomatic staff personae non gratae (unwelcomed person) in a retaliatory move after Berlin expelled the same number of Russian diplomats.
Failed to Capture Kyiv
Russia has yet to capture any of the biggest cities. Its forces were forced to pull back from the outskirts of Kyiv in the face of stiff resistance.
“It is obvious that every day — and especially today, when the third month of our resistance has begun — that everyone in Ukraine is concerned with peace, about when it will all be over,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Monday.
Having failed to take the capital Kyiv, Moscow last week launched a massive assault in an attempt to capture Donbas, which if successful would link territory held by pro-Russian separatists in the east with the Crimea region that Moscow annexed in 2014.
Russia Continues Attack in Kharkiv
Ukraine’s general staff said on Tuesday (26 Apr) that Russia’s offensive continued in the eastern Kharkiv region with Russian forces trying to advance towards Zavody.
Russia’s defence ministry earlier said its missiles destroyed six facilities powering the railways that were used to deliver foreign weapons to Ukrainian forces in the Donbas region, killing one and injuring four.
Ukrainian forces have repelled five Russian attacks and killed just over 200 Russian servicemen, said the Ukrainian military command in the southern and eastern sectors.
Five tanks were also destroyed, along with eight armoured vehicles, it said in a statement.
Russian Forces Attempting to Take Down Eastern Ukraine
Russia is probably attempting to encircle heavily fortified Ukrainian positions in the country’s east, the British military said in an update on Tuesday.
Reports say the city of Kreminna has fallen, with heavy fighting in the south of the city of Izium, as Russian forces try to advance towards the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.
The governor of Russia’s Belgorod province, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said Ukraine had fired on two villages, and at least two people were wounded.
Russian forces were continuing on Monday to bomb and shell the vast Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol where fighters are hunkered down in a city ravaged by a siege and bombardment, Ukrainian presidential aide Oleksiy Arestovych said.
Previously, Moscow said it was opening a humanitarian corridor to let civilians out of the plant but Kyiv said no agreement had been reached.
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Featured Image: Russian Defence Ministry
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