Ukraine war: Putin warns over Western long-range weapons

Image credit: REUTERS

If Western countries supply long-range weaponry to Kyiv, President Vladimir Putin warns that Russia will increase the list of targets it will attack in Ukraine.

The warning came as explosions jolted portions of Kyiv on Sunday, the capital’s first air strikes in weeks.

Russia claims to have hit European-supplied tanks. According to Ukraine, it was a railway repair plant.

In other news, a Russian commander was killed in the Donbas region during battle.

Several countries have vowed to deliver modern weapons to Kyiv as Russia makes gradual but persistent progress on the ground there – hundreds of kilometres to the east.

The US recently declared that it would supply the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), which can shoot precision-guided rockets up to 70 kilometres (45 miles) away, far beyond Ukraine’s present artillery.

Officials from the White House said they decided to deliver the rockets only after receiving assurances from Russian President Volodymyr Zelensky that they would not be used against Russian targets.

Helicopters, anti-tank weapons, tactical vehicles, and replacement components are also included in the package.

Ukraine’s deputy defence minister has appealed to Western countries to maintain a regular supply of weapons to aid the country’s fight against Russia.

The eastern city of Severodonetsk is currently witnessing some of the heaviest combat. The city’s capture would hand the Luhansk area over to Russian soldiers and their local separatist allies, who already control much of Donetsk. The Donbas, which is largely industrialised, is made up of these two regions.

According to Russian official television, Maj-Gen Roman Kutuzov, a Russian airborne forces commander, was killed while leading separatist troops of the unrecognised Donetsk People’s Republic.

Separatists claim he was killed on Sunday in the village of Mykolaivka, near Severodonetsk, in the Popasna area. On Sunday, the Ukrainian military said it beat off assaults in the area, causing heavy losses.

Kutuzov was the fourth Russian general killed in the Ukraine conflict, according to Russian state television, but Ukraine claims to have killed as many as 12 Russian generals since the invasion began on February 24.

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