The Special Military Operation by Russia in Ukraine, which NATO continues to interfere with, got very much worse overnight. A particular escalation too place overnight that has alarm bells ringing in the heads of all thinking people.
Russia will treat western arms shipments to Ukraine as legitimate military targets, deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov says.
“We warned [the US] of consequences from the insane transfer to Ukraine of weapons like mobile anti-aircraft systems, anti-tank missiles, and so on.”
Now, Ryabkov’s statement does not reveal if treating weapons shipments as legitimate military targets means hitting such weapons inside Ukraine, or taking them out before they get to Ukraine, which means hitting them in another country.
No matter how one looks at it, this is now an aggressive new escalation.
The president issued a Saturday memorandum authorizing Secretary of State Antony Blinken to oversee the distribution of the funding after a call Biden had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday and several disbursements the U.S. president has made in recent days.
“Had a substantive conversation with Potus. Gave him the assessment of the situation on the battlefield, informed about the crimes of Russia against the civilian population. We agreed on further steps to support the defense of Ukraine and increase sanctions against Russia,” Zelensky tweeted.
Biden’s latest set of funds includes money for “anti-armor, anti-aircraft systems, and small arms,” one official told Reuters.
The United States is poised to deliver other aid to the besieged nation, bringing the total amount of U.S. security aid to Ukraine to $1.2 billion since January 2021, according to the outlet.
On Wednesday, the House passed a massive bill with $13.6 billion designated for Ukrainian aid. It includes $4 billion in refugee aid, $2.8 billion in humanitarian aid, and $6.5 billion for defense support. In February, the U.S. also announced $350 million in military support for Ukraine, which contained Javelin and Stinger missiles.
Zelensky has long pleaded for additional support from the West as his country fights to stave off Russian invaders. His biggest request has been for a no-fly zone, but the White House and others have roundly rebuffed that request.
Refraining from kinetic exchanges with Moscow, the West has rallied in support of Ukraine as it seeks to fend off invaders, ravaging Russia’s economy with severe sanctions and providing aid to Ukraine. Earlier this week, for example, the United Kingdom upped its aid to 220 million pounds (or roughly $289 million) and announced it is mulling plans to give Ukraine anti-aircraft Starstreak missiles.
Russia issued a stern warning Saturday against providing military support to Ukraine.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said convoys of Western weapons would be targeted by the Russian Armed Forces, state media outlet Sputnik reported.