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West ‘playing with fire’ – Moscow

Ukraine has increased attacks on Russian border regions using NATO-supplied missiles and bombs

The West only risks further escalation by arming and encouraging Kiev to strike Russian territory, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

The warning comes as Ukrainian strikes against Russian cities intensify on the backdrop of Kiev losing ground in the Kharkov Region.

“The profile of the American and British handlers of the [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky regime is clearly visible behind these barbaric attacks,” Zakharova told reporters. “They are not only providing longer-range missiles and heavy weapons, but are giving a green light to their use against Russia.”

“Once again, we would like to unequivocally warn Washington, London, Brussels and other Western capitals, as well as Kiev, which is under their control, that they are playing with fire. Russia will not leave such encroachments on its territory unanswered,” the spokeswoman stressed.

On Thursday and Friday, the Ukrainian troops launched a combined assault on Crimea, Krasnodar and other Russian regions using UAVs and naval drones. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, more than 100 drones were intercepted mid-air, while six unmanned boats were destroyed by the Black Sea Fleet.

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FILE PHOTO: Crimean Bridge.
Ukraine can use British weapons to strike Crimea – defense secretary

During its briefing on Friday, the MOD added that over the course of the week Russian troops had intercepted dozens of US-made ATACMS missiles, as well as nearly 200 rockets, including projectiles fired from US-made HIMARS and Czech-made Vampire launchers. The Hammer guided bombs delivered by France, the Storm Shadow cruise missiles made by the UK, and nearly 330 UAVs were also used in the attacks, it said.

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A memorial to the victims of the Ukrainian strike on a residential building in Belgorod.
Death toll rises in Ukrainian strike on Russian city

A total of 19 civilians were killed in Russia’s Belgorod region on May 12 alone, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said. On Friday, Gladkov wrote on Telegram that a Ukrainian drone hit a civilian car, killing a mother and her four-year-old daughter.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated that the shelling of residential areas is pushing Moscow to create a buffer zone along the border with Ukraine. “If this continues, we will be forced to create a security zone. This is what we are doing,” he said during his trip to China.

Last month, the New York Times cited senior Pentagon officials as saying that the US had allowed Ukraine to use ATACMS missiles against targets in Crimea. British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed to journalists on Tuesday that London allows Kiev to strike Crimea with UK-supplied weapons.

The largely Russian-speaking peninsula voted in 2014 to leave Ukraine and join Russia following the Western-backed coup in Kiev that took place earlier that year.

May 18, 2024 at 05:58AM

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