Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to escalate his bombing campaign if Western nations send Ukraine longer-range rockets, and he dismissed the weapons President Biden recently pledged as “nothing new.”
In a television interview with state media that was recorded Friday and aired Sunday, Putin said he considered the medium-range missiles Biden promised last month to be replacements for similar artillery that Ukraine has lost in the fighting.
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But should longer-range systems arrive, Putin said, his military would begin hitting targets it has so far avoided. He offered no specifics. The Russian president also characterized the West’s materiel support as an attempt to “prolong” the conflict.
Also on Sunday, Russian rockets struck the Ukrainian capital for the first time in more than a month, shattering the city’s sense of tentative safety. Russia’s Defense Ministry said its missiles destroyed tanks and other armored vehicles sent to Ukraine by Eastern European allies, but Ukrainian authorities denied the claim and again accused Moscow of targeting civilian infrastructure.
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