Russia warns risks of nuclear war now ‘considerable’

  • Russia warns US not to arm Ukraine
  • US eyes ammunition for howitzers, tanks and grenade launchers
  • UK to send ambulances, fire trucks and medical supplies

LVIV, Ukraine/KYIV, April 26 (Reuters) – Russia’s foreign minister told the world not to underestimate the considerable risks of a nuclear conflict, and NATO’s arms supply to Ukraine “in essence” 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 was comparable to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

“The risks now are considerable,” Lavrov said, according to a transcript of the interview on the ministry’s website.

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“I wouldn’t want to artificially raise those risks. A lot of people would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we shouldn’t underestimate it.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he viewed Russia’s fear-mongering as a sign of weakness.

Russia had lost its “last hope of scaring the world out of supporting Ukraine,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter after Lavrov’s interview. “This only means that Moscow feels defeat.”

During a visit to kyiv on Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin promised more military aid for Ukraine.

The US State Department used an emergency declaration on Monday to approve the potential sale of $165 million worth of ammunition to Ukraine. The Pentagon said the package could include artillery ammunition for howitzers, tanks and grenade launchers. read more

Moscow’s ambassador to Washington told the United States to stop the shipments and warned that Western weapons were inflaming the conflict. read more

Lavrov said: “NATO, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy. War means war.”

The Russian invasion of Ukraine two months ago, the biggest attack on a European state since 1945, has left thousands dead or wounded, reduced towns and 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 will host an expected gathering of more than 40 countries this week for Ukraine-related defense talks that will focus on arming kyiv, US officials said.

Britain said all tariffs on goods entering the country from Ukraine under an existing free trade agreement will be removed and it will send new ambulances, fire engines, medical supplies and funds for health experts to help services. of emergency.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday it had declared 40 German diplomatic staff “personas non grata” in a retaliatory move after Berlin expelled the same number of Russian diplomats.

Russia has yet to capture any of the larger cities. His forces were forced to withdraw from the outskirts of kyiv in the face of strong resistance.

“It is obvious that every day, and especially today, when the third month of our resistance has begun, everyone in Ukraine is worried about peace, about when it will all end,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Monday night.

“There is no simple answer to that at this point.”

Failing to take the capital kyiv, Moscow last week launched a massive assault in a bid to capture the eastern provinces known as Donbas, which if successful would unite territory held by pro-Russian separatists in the east with the Crimean region. which Moscow annexed in 2014.

Ukraine’s General Staff said on Tuesday that Russia’s offensive was continuing in the eastern Kharkiv region with Russian forces trying to advance towards Zavody.

Russia’s Defense Ministry earlier said its missiles destroyed six facilities feeding railways that were used to deliver foreign weapons to Ukrainian forces in the Donbas region. Reuters was unable to verify the report. read more

The head of Ukraine’s state railway company said one railway worker was killed and four wounded by Russian missile strikes on five Ukrainian railway 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, it 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. read more

Reports say the city of Kreminna has fallen, with heavy fighting south of the city of Izium, as Russian forces try to advance towards the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, the British Ministry of Defense said on Twitter.

Governor of Russia’s Belgorod province Vyacheslav Gladkov said Ukraine fired on two villages and at least two people were wounded. Reuters was unable to verify the reports from Ukraine or Russia.

Russian forces on Monday continued shelling and shelling the large Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, where fighters took refuge in a city devastated by a siege and shelling, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said.

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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Additional reporting by Reuters journalists; written by Costas Pitas and Michael Perry; Edited by Rosalba O’Brien, Stephen Coates and Simon Cameron-Moore

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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