Vladimir Putin today threatened to “respond” to Britain’s plan to send depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine as Moscow warned of the rising risk of a “nuclear collision”.
The Russian despot said some of the ammunition for the Challenger 2 main battle tanks that Britain is sending to Ukraine contains armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium.
Speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Putin said the move is a precursor to the West’s move to supplying Kiev with weapons containing nuclear components. tanks.
“The United Kingdom announced the delivery of not only tanks to Ukraine, but also depleted uranium grenades,” Putin roared.
If this happens, Russia will be forced to respond accordingly, as the West is already collectively starting to use weapons with a nuclear component. It seems that the West indeed intends to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian,” he added.
Russian politicians and Putin’s propagandists have made a series of combative remarks since last year’s invasion of Ukraine, suggesting that Moscow would be ready – if necessary – to deploy its massive nuclear arsenal.
Putin also joined XI in condemning the security pact known as AUKUS, which will see Australia develop a nuclear-powered submarine program with the United States and Britain.
Speaking after talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping (pictured together), Putin said the move heralds the West’s switch to supplying nuclear-powered weapons to Kiev, adding that Moscow will “respond” if the UK continues to the delivery of 14 next generation main battle tanks
Vladimir Putin vowed today (pictured in the Kremlin) to “respond” to Britain’s plans to send munitions to Ukraine containing depleted uranium, as Moscow warned there are “fewer and fewer steps” to a nuclear clash
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meet Ukrainian troops being trained to command Challenger 2 tanks at a military facility on February 8, 2023 in Lulworth, Dorset
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu echoed Putin’s point today, warning that the world is just “steps” away from a nuclear disaster.
“Another step has been taken and there are fewer and fewer of them left,” Shoigu said. When asked if this meant the world was closer to a nuclear collision, he replied, “It was no coincidence that I told you about steps. There are fewer and fewer.’ Shoigu added that “every war ends in peace.”
Depleted uranium is used in weapons because its density and other physical properties make it easier to penetrate tanks and armor.
It is a particular health hazard around impact sites, where dust can enter people’s lungs and vital organs.
“Of course Russia has something to answer this with,” Shoigu told reporters when asked about the munitions.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the plan the “Yugoslavia scenario” because the munitions caused cancer and contaminated the environment.
It comes as Xi said on Tuesday that he had signed an agreement with Putin to take their ties into a ‘new era’ – in a move that will be met with concern in Ukraine as Kiev fears China may eventually decide to withdraw its strategic ally from China. to provide weapons. affect the outcome of the war.
“We signed a declaration on deepening strategic partnership and bilateral ties entering a new era,” Xi said after talks with Putin at the Kremlin.
The two countries expressed “concern” about NATO’s growing presence in Asia, according to the statement.
“The parties express deep concern about NATO’s continued strengthening of ties with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region on military and security issues,” China and Russia said in the statement.
Putin also claimed that China’s 12-point “peace plan” could provide a basis for ending the war in Ukraine – a move met with skepticism in Kiev and the West, with world leaders questioning the real motive behind Ukraine’s peace plan. questioned Beijing. .
China has made no concrete proposals to end the war, other than its 12-point “peace plan,” which called, among other things, for an end to Western sanctions, negotiations that would see Ukraine cede territory, a NATO withdrawal from its eastern borders, and reconstruction . efforts likely to benefit Chinese contractors.
And despite its calls for peace, Beijing remained shoulder-to-shoulder with Russia, echoing the Kremlin’s talking points about NATO expansion.
It comes after a Russian fighter jet intercepted a pair of US nuclear bombers over the Baltic Sea, days after a US drone was shot down.
Russia’s defense ministry said a single Su-35 had been deployed to meet the B-52 strategic bombers flying towards the Russian border on Monday, but returned to base after they left after a tense confrontation.
The development came as Moscow said it flew two of its own nuclear bombers over the Sea of Japan for more than seven hours, in a statement released as Japan’s prime minister embarked on a surprise visit to Ukraine – and as China’s Prime Minister Xi Jinping announced his own visit to Moscow.
This is the dramatic moment a Russian fighter jet intercepted a pair of US nuclear bombers over the Baltic Sea just days after a US drone was downed
Dramatic images purportedly captured from the Su-35 seemed to confirm this on Tuesday. The close-up video showed one of the two US planes hovering above the clouds (pictured)
Two American B-52 Stratofortress aircraft (left) were intercepted by a Russian Sukhoi Su-35 (right). Here’s how they stack up against each other
Russia’s Tupolev Tu-95MS aircraft are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, and Moscow regularly flies them over international waters in the Arctic, North Atlantic and Pacific as a show of strength and intimidation tactics.
It also followed the March 14 crash of a US military surveillance drone into the Black Sea after it was intercepted by Russian jets, in the first known direct military encounter between Russia and the US since Russia invaded Ukraine.
“On March 20, radar facilities of the Air Defense Forces of the Western Military District on duty over the Baltic Sea detected two air targets flying towards the state border of the Russian Federation,” the ministry said in the Telegram messaging app.
It said the targets were U.S. Air Force B52H strategic bombers.
Dramatic images purportedly captured from the Su-35 seemed to confirm this on Tuesday. The close-up video showed one of the two American planes hovering above the clouds.
Earlier, the two American planes were escorted by Polish fighter jets.
Flightradar24 plotted the route of a B52 Stratofortress bomber across Europe on Monday, saying it was flying at 26,500 feet. The route followed from south to north across Spain, bypassing France and then flying over Britain.
It then took to the North Sea, crossing Denmark, flying to Sweden and then Poland, before following the Baltic Sea to Estonia, before returning to itself to fly back to Sweden.
Russia said a Su-35 fighter jet took off to prevent a border violation, adding: “After the foreign military plane left the state border of the Russian Federation, the Russian fighter jet returned to its base airfield.”
The ministry said the Su-35’s flight was in strict compliance with international airspace usage rules. Violating the state border of the Russian Federation was not allowed.