Russia Accuses UK Of Escalating Ukraine War And Vows To Target British Weapons
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Russia has accused the UK of 'exacerbating' the conflict with Ukraine and warned it will target the weapons it has supplied to the country.
Defence Minister Ben Wallace pledged to send more 'lethal aid' to assist Ukraine against the Russian invasion, including air and coastal defence systems, long-range artillery and armoured vehicles, as well as broader logistical support.
A video recently emerged reportedly showing a British Starstreak missile taking down a Russian helicopter.
According to Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrey Kelin, British weapons will become a legitimate target for Russia if delivered to Ukraine.
He said, as per TASS: "All arms supplies are destabilising, particularly those mentioned by Wallace.
"They exacerbate the situation, making it even bloodier. Apparently, those are new, high-precision weapons. Naturally, our armed forces will view them as a legitimate target if those supplies get through the Ukrainian border."
The footage is thought to have shown a Starstreak missile, a UK-made high-velocity projectile, shooting down a Russian helicopter in its first use by Ukrainian troops.
The missile uses three kinetic darts to hit its targets, and was filmed hitting the aircraft over the Luhansk region.
Wallace's vow came after the second International Defence Donor Conference for Ukraine, which demonstrated the 'international community’s determination to support Ukraine in the face of President Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion by Russian force', Wallace said.
Kelin also accused the UK government of basing its 'perceptions' of the war on Ukraine's reports, rather than Russia's claims.
He continued: "I have a feeling that London’s perceptions of what is going on in Ukraine from the military point of view are formed from overly positive reports of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry and the leadership of Ukraine.
"If we look at maps that are being published by papers and magazines here, they rely exclusively on Ukrainian sources.
"They still believe that the Azov battalion is about to liberate Mariupol, that the people’s militia forces have made no progress at all in the Luhansk region."
Kelin likened the UK's perception to that of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, saying: "Those ideas serve as a basis for decisions and statements, which, in fact, contradict the reality: [ideas] that more weapons should be supplied to Ukraine, that it will become a game changer, that there is no need for negotiations at this point.
"This is the position of an ostrich, an attempt to hide your head in sand in a fit of powerlessness and blind rage.
"Wrong decisions of this kind are very dangerous, because they are aimed at fuelling the conflict and [expose] reluctance to work on settling it. They reveal the desire to do us as much harm as possible."