Russia’s nuclear forces have launched fresh drills in the Ivanovo province just northeast of Moscow, with some 1,000 servicemen doing intense maneuvers using over a hundred vehicles – including Yars intercontinental ballistic missile launchers.
Western media reports see the drill as a response and warning to Washington as U.S. President Joe Biden approved more military aid and weapons for Ukraine, longer-range rockets in particular.
One article noted that the Russian report follows the announcement of the U.S. approving another $700 million for security assistance to be sent to Kyiv, which would include helicopters, anti-tank weapon systems and medium-range high mobility artillery rocket systems.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin is issuing new warnings over the U.S. violating “red lines,” which could lead to the country becoming involved in the Ukraine conflict due to the rocket launcher supplies.
A new consensus also emerged that Russian forces are winning in Donbas, amid the latest gains over the Luhansk province. The final Ukrainian holdout city of Sievierodonetsk is also poised to fall to the Russians. The White House’s move to send in longer-range rockets, which are actually in effect medium-range, seems to be aimed at stalling the Russian gains in Donbas.
The Biden administration previously said it would reject the possibility of sending long-range rockets to avoid rapid escalation with Russia after the Kremlin declared “red lines” concerning the type of major West-supplied weaponry.
In a New York Times op-ed, Biden outlined what “America will do and not do in Ukraine,” stressing that while many people are concerned about the use of nuclear weapons, he doesn’t believe Russia intends to use them.
“We currently see no indication that Russia has intent to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, though Russia’s occasional rhetoric to rattle the nuclear saber is itself dangerous and extremely irresponsible,” Biden said. (Related: Russia claims latest missile attack is ANOTHER false flag.)
“Let me be clear: Any use of nuclear weapons in this conflict on any scale would be completely unacceptable to us as well as the rest of the world and would entail severe consequences.”
Meanwhile, the U.K said it will also send sophisticated medium-range rocket systems to Ukraine. U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Britain will send an unspecified number of M270 launchers, which can send precision-guided rockets up to 50 miles.
He added that the decision was closely coordinated with the U.S. decision to send High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems to Ukraine. The two missile systems are similar, although the American one has wheels while the British one, which is also U.S.-built, runs on tracks.
Britain also said that Ukrainian troops will be trained in the U.K. to use the equipment.
Moscow has already warned the West against granting Ukraine the range to fire into Russian territory.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on Thursday, June 2: “We have to defend ourselves against almost the entire Russian army. All combat-ready Russian military formations are involved in this aggression.” He added that the front lines of the battle stretched across over 1,000 kilometers or 620 miles. (Related: US military revamping to fight Russia – and maybe China – in the Arctic.)
Zelensky also said Russia had forcibly abducted 200,000 Ukrainian children since the beginning of the war in February, including some from orphanages and those separated from their families, although he did admit that they do not yet have all the information from the territory that is currently occupied.
The U.S. and its allies want to hold Russia accountable for alleged war crimes during its invasion. Since the conflict, the Russian forces have allegedly bombed maternity hospitals, train stations, apartment buildings and homes.
“We’ve received credible reports of Russian forces torturing and committing execution-style killings of people with their hands bound behind their back,” U.S. Undersecretary of State Uzra Zeya said at a United Nations Security Council meeting on strengthening accountability and justice for serious violations of international law.
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Watch the video below as Volodymyr Zelensky admits Ukraine is losing the war with Russia.
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