[…] Last week, the Russian leader said during an address to lawmakers that any countries that ”create a strategic threat to Russia” in Ukraine can expect ”retaliatory strikes” that would be ”lightning fast.” Even before Russia began its attacks on Ukraine on February 24, Putin made public warnings. Last November, he said his country would respond if NATO crossed ”red lines” by providing Ukraine with certain missile strike systems.
Other prominent Russian officials have recently made similar warnings. On April 13, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told government news agency Tass that Russia will consider U.S. and NATO vehicles transporting weapons on Ukrainian territory as ”legitimate military targets.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also brought up the international alliance during an April 25 interview. ”NATO is essentially going to war with Russia through a proxy and arming that proxy. War means war,” he said. […]
Last Thursday, President Joe Biden addressed the threats of retaliation coming from Russian officials, calling the rhetoric a sign of ”desperation that Russia is feeling about their abject failure.” However, John Kirby, the Defense Department’s press secretary, said the next day that these threats are taken seriously and that Putin should refrain from nuclear ”saber-rattling.” Läs artikel