Russia Threatens US After Ukraine Strikes Targets Inside Russia

Russia Threatens US After Ukraine Strikes Targets Inside Russia

Key Points:

  • Russia has issued a grave warning to the United States, threatening “fatal consequences” if it allows Ukraine to use US-supplied weapons to strike targets inside Russian territory.
  • The Kremlin asserts that Ukraine’s use of these weapons would constitute direct Western involvement in the conflict and could trigger a larger, more dangerous global conflict.
  • Russia has warned of potential asymmetric responses to attacks on its early-warning radar systems.

Russia Warns US of ‘Fatal Consequences’ 

Tensions between Russia and the United States have escalated further with a stark warning from Moscow regarding the use of US-supplied weapons by Ukraine. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov issued a grave statement on Monday, asserting that the United States could face “fatal consequences” if it continues to allow Ukraine to use these weapons to strike targets inside Russia.

Ryabkov’s warning comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s decision last week to approve the use of US-provided weapons for Ukrainian counter-fire operations within Russian territory, specifically targeting sites involved in attacks on the Kharkiv region. This decision and similar permissions given by some European governments have sparked concern within the Kremlin.

US Weapons Use Raises Stakes

The Kremlin maintains that Ukraine’s use of Western weapons to strike targets within Russia would constitute a direct involvement of the West in the conflict. This echoes earlier warnings by President Vladimir Putin, who cautioned that NATO’s involvement in the conflict could lead to a larger, more dangerous global conflict.

“I would like to warn American leaders against miscalculations that could have fatal consequences. For unknown reasons, they underestimate the seriousness of the rebuff they may receive,” Ryabkov said, as Russian state news agency RIA reported.

Ryabkov emphasized the importance of taking Putin’s recent warnings seriously, urging US officials to “spend some of their time, which they apparently spend on some kind of video games, judging by the lightness of their approach, on studying what was said in detail by Putin.”

Ukraine Seeks More Flexibility

Kyiv has been urging Western allies to grant them greater flexibility in using provided weapons, citing limitations as a significant hindrance in their defense efforts against Russia’s ongoing offensive in the Kharkiv region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed gratitude to Washington for permitting the use of US-supplied HIMARS rocket systems in the Kharkiv region but emphasized that further support is crucial.

However, Russia has issued a firm response, threatening to retaliate against any attempts to attack Russian early-warning radar systems. A Kyiv intelligence source revealed last week that a Ukrainian drone had targeted a long-range radar deep inside Russia, a key component of the nation’s early-warning system for nuclear attacks.

NATO Reaffirms Support

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated NATO’s commitment to supporting Ukraine’s right to self-defense, emphasizing that this support does not make the alliance a party to the conflict.

Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry issued a statement through the TASS news agency, expressing concern over discussions regarding the deployment of Patriot air defense systems in Ukraine. The ministry characterized these discussions as an escalatory step, vowing that Russia would take all necessary measures to counter such threats.

Nuclear Brinkmanship and Global Concerns

The escalating rhetoric and threats of “fatal consequences” raise significant concerns about the potential for further escalation and unintended consequences. The warnings from Moscow raise the specter of a broader conflict with the West, potentially even involving nuclear weapons, a scenario that has been a source of global anxiety.