Russia on Tuesday threatened to attack Ukrainian “decision-making centers” if bombardment by Western weapons took place on Russian territory or in annexed Crimea, with Moscow accusing Kiev of preparing for such attacks, AFP reported.
Sergei ShoiguPhoto: Russian Ministry of Defense / UPI / Profimedia
“According to our information, the leaders of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are planning to attack Russian territories, including Crimea, with (US) Himars and (UK) Storm Shadows missiles,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
“The use of these missiles outside the (combat) zone would indicate the full involvement of the United States and Great Britain in the conflict and lead to immediate strikes on decision-making centers in Ukraine,” he added.
He did not specify whether the threats referred to military command centers that Moscow already claims to be attacking, or to political decision-making centers in Kiev.
Since launching its military campaign against Ukraine in February 2022, Moscow has repeatedly warned that direct attacks on its territory would escalate the conflict. Russia has considered Crimea part of its territory since annexing the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014.
In recent months, drone strikes and cross-border incursions by armed men into Russian territory have increased. Kiev is not responsible for any of them.
Soigu’s warning comes as many analysts say Ukraine is still testing Russian defenses before throwing the bulk of its forces into battle, with Kiev launching a counteroffensive along several fronts.
On Tuesday, Russia’s defense minister said Russian forces had repelled all “263 attacks” launched by the Ukrainian military since June 4, a claim that could not be independently verified.
Choigu assured that the forces in Kiev “use a large number of Western elite weapons and units, whose members are trained by NATO specialists.”
Ukraine, for its part, says it has recaptured eight cities since launching its counteroffensive in early June.
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