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Putin Threatens Missile Deployment: Escalation in Ukraine Conflict Raises Nuclear Concerns

In a significant escalation, Russian President Vladimir Putin warns of deploying missiles within striking range of the U.S. and Europe. Amidst rising tensions over Western support for Ukraine, Putin's alarming rhetoric suggests potential nuclear conflict, heightening global fears. Read more about the developments and their implications.

Deepak Kohli
  • Jun 6 2024 1:55PM

In a troubling escalation of rhetoric, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday the potential deployment of conventional missiles within striking range of the United States and its European allies. This provocative statement comes as a response to Western support for Ukraine, particularly concerning long-range weapons that could strike deep into Russian territory.

During his first face-to-face meeting with senior editors of international news agencies since the onset of the Ukraine conflict, Putin asserted that the West's assumption of Russia's restraint in using nuclear weapons was misguided. He emphasized that the Kremlin's nuclear doctrine should not be underestimated, hinting at the severe consequences of continued Western involvement.

When questioned about NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg's suggestions to allow Ukraine to use Western weapons to target Russian territory, Putin made a stark distinction between various missile types. He warned that enabling Kyiv to strike Russia with increasingly powerful weapons was a dangerous escalation, drawing the West perilously close to direct confrontation with Russia. He specifically highlighted the risk posed by U.S. ATACMS and British and French missile systems, stating Russia's intent to shoot them down.

Putin's alarming rhetoric did not stop at defensive measures. He indicated that Moscow is contemplating the deployment of similar high-technology, long-range missiles capable of striking countries supporting Ukraine's attacks on Russia. "If we see that these countries are being drawn into a war against the Russian Federation, then we reserve the right to act in the same way. In general, this is a path to very serious problems," Putin ominously remarked.

Although he refrained from detailing the locations for potential missile deployments, Putin's threats underscore a significant escalation. The Russian leader's stance is seen as increasingly belligerent and dangerous, raising the specter of nuclear conflict over Ukraine.

This development follows U.S. President Joe Biden's authorization for Kyiv to target Russian military sites with certain U.S.-supplied weapons, though Washington has prohibited the use of ATACMS and other long-range systems for strikes inside Russia. Despite this, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, during a visit to Kyiv on May 3, affirmed Ukraine's right to use British-provided weapons to target Russian sites, placing the decision firmly in Kyiv's hands.

Putin's statements signal a perilous turn in the Ukraine conflict, with the potential for a broader war involving nuclear-capable nations. The international community watches with bated breath, hoping for diplomatic solutions to avert a catastrophic escalation.

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