News from Ukraine: War is ‘hotter’ as US and UK face WWIII nuclear threat | World | News
Vladimir Putin has stepped up his assaults on eastern and southern Ukraine, kyiv said today, April 28, and threatened ‘lightning-fast’ retaliation against any Western country that intervenes on behalf of Ukraine. More than two months after the start of an invasion that razed cities but failed to capture the capital, Moscow has launched a campaign to seize two eastern provinces in a battle the West sees as a decisive turning point in the war.
Although Russian forces were driven out of northern Ukraine last month, they are heavily entrenched in the east and still hold parts of the south that they seized in March.
Ukraine said there were loud explosions overnight in the southern city of Kherson, the only regional capital Russia has captured since the invasion. Russian troops used tear gas and stun grenades on Wednesday April 27 to suppress pro-Ukrainian protests, and were now shelling the entire surrounding region and attacking towards Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih, the hometown of President Vladimir Zelenskiy in the south, said Ukraine.
kyiv accuses Moscow of planning to hold a fake independence referendum in the occupied south. Russian state media quoted an official from a self-proclaimed pro-Russian “military-civilian commission” in Kherson on Thursday, April 28, as saying the region would start using the Russian ruble from May 1.
Western countries have stepped up arms deliveries to Ukraine in recent days as fighting in the east intensified.
More than 40 countries gathered this week at a US air base in Germany and pledged to send heavy weapons such as artillery in what is expected to be a massive battle of opposing armies along a line of heavily fortified front.
Washington now says it hopes Ukrainian forces can not only repel Russia’s eastern assault, but weaken its military so it can no longer threaten its neighbors. Russia says this amounts to a NATO “proxy war” against it.
“If anyone intends to intervene from the outside in current events and create strategic threats to Russia that are unacceptable to us, he should know that our retaliatory strikes will be lightning fast. “, Putin told deputies in St. Petersburg.
“We have all the tools for that, things no one else can brag about having now. And we won’t brag about them, we’ll use them when necessary. And I want everyone to know that.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Monday, April 25, of a nuclear world war if third countries intervene in the conflict.
He said: “I wouldn’t want to artificially increase those risks.
READ MORE: Ukraine LIVE: Putin urged to bomb ‘totally rude Britain’
“Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And it should not be underestimated.”
Last week, retired US General Ben Hodges acknowledged that the US and Canada could get involved.
He told CBC News: “I think the biggest problem for us, or the biggest challenge – it’s the collective ‘we’, that includes Canada – is that we have to decide that we’re going to win.”
In the UK, Armed Forces Minister James Heappey has defended Britain’s involvement in the war via the supply of arms to Ukraine.
He told the BBC: “Firstly, it is the Ukrainians who make the targeting decision, not the people who manufacture or export the kit in the first place.
“And second, it’s entirely legitimate to seek out targets deep within your adversaries to disrupt their logistics and supply lines.”
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also referred to the “fallout” of the war when justifying his administration’s decision to provide military supplies to Kyiv.
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He said: “We don’t want to see an overflow and again it’s important to make sure we do everything we can to ensure Ukraine’s success.
“And that’s the best way to deal with it (risk of overflow).”
Speaking to Politico for an article titled “In case you missed it, the war in Ukraine just got hotter,” British military historian Hew Strachan noted that the US and UK stepped up their response to the war by making promises they wouldn’t concede just six weeks ago.
He said: “Individual [NATO] the members – Britain foremost among them – have shown a willingness to take risks they rejected six weeks ago.
“Also, they do so quite openly, rejecting the plausible deniability that characterized their past efforts to help Ukraine.”
As Russia continues its military assault on eastern and southern Ukraine, its economic battle with the West threatens Europe’s gas supplies and hits the Russian economy.
On Wednesday April 27, Moscow halted gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria for refusing to pay for supplies in rubles, its first major retaliatory strike against sanctions. The President of the European Commission described this decision as “blackmail”.