Putin warns US against supplying longer-range missiles to Ukraine

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Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a video speech announcing the start of the military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Moscow, Russia, in a still from video footage released February 24, 2022. Russian Pool /Reuters TV via REUTERS

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  • Putin warns US against supplying missiles
  • Russia will strike if longer range missiles are provided
  • Russia cracks Western drones ‘like crazy’ – Putin

LONDON, June 5 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin warned the United States in an interview broadcast on Sunday that Russia would hit new targets if the West supplied longer-range missiles to Ukraine for use in high-precision mobile rocket systems.

The United States has ruled out sending its own or NATO forces to Ukraine, but Washington and its European allies have supplied Kyiv with weapons such as drones, Howitzer heavy artillery, anti-aircraft missiles Stinger and Javelin anti-tank.

President Joe Biden said last week that Washington would provide Ukraine with M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, after receiving assurances from Kyiv that it would not be used to target Russia. . Read more

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Putin said arms shipments were ‘nothing new’ and changed nothing, but warned there would be a response if the US provided longer-range munitions for HIMARS systems , which have a maximum range of 300 km (186.41 miles) or more. .

If longer-range missiles are provided, “we will hit the targets we haven’t hit yet,” Putin told state broadcaster Rossiya-1 in an interview.

Putin said the range of Lockheed Martin’s HIMARS systems (LMT.N) depended on the ammunition supplied and that the range announced by the United States was about the same as that of the Soviet-made missile systems that Ukraine already possessed.

“It’s not new. It basically doesn’t change anything,” Putin said. He said the weapons simply replaced those that Russia had destroyed.

Putin did not identify the targets Russia would hit, but said “the fuss” over Western arms supplies was designed to prolong the conflict.

The US Department of Defense said it was supplying Ukraine with four HIMARS M142 systems as well as the guided multiple launch rocket system which it said had a range of more than 40 miles (64 km), the double the range of the howitzers it provided.

‘CRACK NUTS’

The war in Ukraine, the largest ground invasion of Europe since World War II, showed the limits of Russia’s post-Soviet military might with heavy casualties and several shifts in strategy in the face of fierce Ukrainian resistance.

Speaking about the drones delivered by Western states to Ukraine, Putin said that Russian air defenses “crack them like nuts”. Dozens, he said, had been destroyed.

Although Russian officials warned that the US decision to supply Ukraine with advanced rocket systems would exacerbate the conflict, Putin said it would not lead to any fundamental change on the battlefield.

The interview, which the Kremlin said was recorded June 3 in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, showed Putin sitting in front of a large wall map of Russia, Europe and Central Asia.

Putin and Russian officials are not using global war or invasion, saying it is a “special military operation” to prevent the persecution of Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine.

Putin also sees it as a turning point in Russian history: a revolt by Moscow against the United States, which he says has humiliated Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Ukraine says it is fighting for its survival even against an imperial Russian-style land grab that has irrevocably split the two largest East Slavic peoples and wreaked death and destruction on Russia’s second-largest country. Europe in terms of area.

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Reuters reporting; Written by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Tomasz Janowski

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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