Putin warns of escalating targets over missiles supply to Kiev
The Russian President warns that if the West supplies Ukraine with long-range missiles, Moscow will hit new targets.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Sunday that if the West supplies Ukraine with long-range missiles, Moscow will hit new targets, and that additional weaponry sales to Kiev will only "prolong the conflict."
Putin was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying that if Kiev is given long-range missiles, Russia will "draw the appropriate conclusions and use our arms.... to strike targets we haven't hit before."
Putin did not define which targets may be targeted or the precise range of missiles to which Moscow would respond.
His remarks came just days after the US revealed that it would give Ukraine with Himars multiple launch rocket launchers.
Himars is a transportable device that can launch numerous precision-guided missiles up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) distant at the same time.
According to military analysts, the Himars weapons have a little greater range than comparable Russian systems, allowing Kiev's soldiers to target enemy artillery while remaining beyond Moscow's grasp.
Biden previously stated that Washington would not provide Kiev with weapons capable of targeting Russian territories.
However, in response, Putin told Rossiya-1 that the purpose of Washington was to "prolong the conflict for as long as possible."
Ukrainian officials stated early on Sunday that Russian missiles struck railway infrastructure facilities in Kiev, the first such attack since April 28.
During the strikes, Russia is said to have destroyed tanks provided to Ukraine by eastern European countries.
On Sunday, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov revealed that Russia has destroyed tanks that were provided by eastern European countries to Ukraine during their operation in Kiev.
"High-precision, long-range missiles fired by the Russian Aerospace Forces on the outskirts of Kyiv destroyed T-72 tanks supplied by eastern European countries and other armored vehicles that were in hangars," Konashenkov said.
Russia's army on Saturday stated that some Ukrainian military units were withdrawing from Severodonetsk, but Mayor Oleksandr Striuk said Ukrainian forces were attempting to retake the city.
The US has sent more than $5 billion in military supplies to Ukraine since Biden took office in 2021, according to a senior administration official.
The Pentagon has decided to provide HIMARSs to Ukraine due to the nature of the conflict changing to an "artillery duel", Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl told a press briefing on Wednesday.
A senior administration official told reporters that the US would send M142 HIMARS, which have a range of approximately 77 km.
Moscow had sent a formal diplomatic note to the United States warning that Washington and Brussels' arms shipments were adding fuel to the fire of the war in Ukraine, stressing that this matter could bring upon "unpredictable consequences".