Russia official warns West of destruction for arming Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Russia’s lower house of parliament has warned on Sunday that countries supplying Ukraine with more powerful weapons are at risk of their own destruction, a message fulfilling its promise. New armored vehicles, air defense systems and other equipment, but not Kyiv combat tanks, proposed.

Pro-Ukrainian supporters pledged billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine during a meeting at Ramstein air base in Germany on Friday, though the new commitment was overshadowed by failure. To approve Ukraine’s urgent request for a German-made Leopard 2 combat tank.

Duma President Vyacheslav Volodin said a government that provided more powerful weapons to Ukraine could cause a “global tragedy that would destroy their country”.

“The supply of offensive weapons to the Kyiv regime will lead to global catastrophe,” he said. “It will provoke retaliation with more powerful weapons.”

Germany is one of the major donors of arms to Ukraine, and it has ordered a review of its Leopard 2 stock to prepare for a possible green light. Nevertheless, the Berlin government has shown caution in each step of raising its commitment. For Ukraine, a hesitation that is seen to have its roots in its history. And political culture.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that he did not rule out sending Leclerc combat tanks to Ukraine and asked his defense minister to “work on” the idea.

Macron spoke during a press conference in Paris with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as their country celebrated the 60th anniversary of their post-World War II friendship treaty. In a joint statement, France and Germany pledged their “unwavering support” for Ukraine.

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France will decide on its tanks based on three criteria, Macron said: “Sharing equipment does not lead to escalation of the conflict, that it will provide effective and viable assistance. When training time is taken into account, it will not weaken the French military.

Scholz did not respond when asked about Leopard 2 on Sunday, but stressed that his country had already made significant military donations to Ukraine.

“The United States is doing a lot, Germany is doing a lot,” he said. “We are constantly expanding our distribution with the most effective weapons available today. “And we always coordinate all these decisions closely with our key allies and friends.”

Germany’s lull has drawn particular criticism from Poland and the Baltic states, countries on the eastern side of NATO that feel particularly threatened by renewed Russian aggression.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said that if Germany does not agree to transfer Leopard tanks to Ukraine, his country is ready to build a “smaller alliance” of countries that will send them. Anyway.

“Nearly a year has passed since the outbreak of war,” Morawiecki said in an interview with the Polish state news agency PAP released on Sunday. “Evidence of Russian military war crimes can be seen on television and on YouTube. “What else does Germany need to open its eyes and start acting in line with the potential of the German state?”

In Washington, two leading lawmakers urged the United States on Sunday to send some of its Abrams tanks to Ukraine in a bid to overcome Germany’s reluctance to share its tanks more appropriately.

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“If we announce that we are providing an Abrams tank, it will be released,” said Rep. “This week on Sunday,” Michael McCaul, Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told ABC. All I hear is that Germany is waiting for us to take the lead.

Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also spoke out for Abrams’ extradition.

“If it requires us to send some Abrams tanks to unlock the acquisition of Leopard from Germany, from Poland from other allies, I would support it,” Coons said.

Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, said the US-led meeting at the air base in Germany “leaves no doubt that our enemies will try to exhaust or destroy us better”. That “they have enough weapons” to achieve the goal.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned on his messenger network that “in the event of a protracted conflict”, Russia could seek a military alliance with “countries that are tired of Americans and packs of dogs being killed.” Their chase. ”

Ukraine is seeking more weapons as it anticipates Russian forces will launch a new offensive in the spring.

Oleksii Danilov, secretary of the Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, warned that Russia could try to step up its attacks in the south and east and cut off Western arms supply while the occupation of Kyiv remains ” “The main dream” in the regime of President Vladimir Putin. “Imagination,” he said.

In a column published by the online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda. He described the Kremlin’s goal in the conflict as “a complete and utter genocide, a war of total destruction.”

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Among those calling for more weapons for Ukraine was former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who made a remarkable trip. A surprise to Ukraine on Sunday. Johnson, who was filmed in the Kyiv town of Borodyanka, said he had traveled to Ukraine at the invitation of President Volodymyr. Zelenskyy.

“This is the time to double down and give Ukraine all the tools they need to get the job done. “The sooner the defeat, the better for Putin and for the whole world,” Johnson said in a statement.

This last week was really tragic. For Ukraine, even by the standards of the brutal war that continued for nearly a year, which killed tens of thousands, dismantled millions more and created the massive destruction of Ukrainian cities.

Russian missiles struck an apartment building in the southeastern city of Dnipro on Jan. 14, killing at least 45 civilians. On Wednesday, a government helicopter crashed into a kindergarten building on the outskirts of Kiev. Ukraine’s interior minister, another official and one of the 14 children killed.

Zelenskyy vowed on Sunday that Ukraine would win the war.

“We are united because we are strong. We are strong because we are united, ”the Ukrainian leader said in a video address as he celebrated the Day of Unity of Ukraine, commemorating the unification of Eastern and Western Ukraine in 1919.

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Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed.

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Follow the AP coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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