Russia warns Britain of immediate ‘proportional response’ if it continues to provoke Ukraine

Russia warns of ‘round-the-clock readiness’ in striking decision-making centres in Kyiv

Shweta Sharma
Wednesday 27 April 2022 07:09 BST
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Boris Johnson says Putin is popular enough in Russia to back down on Ukraine

Russia’s defence ministry warned of an immediate “proportional response” to the UK after it said it would be legitimate for Ukraine to strike targets on Russian soil.

The Russian ministry warned that its troops were ready to launch strikes at decision-making centres in Kyiv, where some western military advisers are known to be present.

“We would like to underline that London’s direct provocation of the Kyiv regime into such actions, if such actions are carried out, will immediately lead to our proportional response,” the statement by the ministry said.

“As we have warned, the Russian Armed Forces are in round-the-clock readiness to launch retaliatory strikes with high-precision long-range weapons at decision-making centres in Kyiv,” it added.

The statement added that it would not necessarily be a problem if some representatives of certain western countries were in Kyiv if Russian strikes were carried out.

Russia’s stern remarks were directed towards London after the UK’s armed forces minister James Heappey said it would be “entirely legitimate” to strike targets in Russia for disrupting the country’s logistics and supply lines.

Speaking to BBC Radio on Tuesday, Mr Heappey said it would be acceptable for Kyiv to use western weapons to attack military targets on Russian soil.

“The question is, is it acceptable for our weapons to be used against legitimate Russian military targets by the Ukrainians?” Mr Heappey asked.

“Firstly, it’s Ukrainians that take the targeting decision, not the people who manufacture or export the kit in the first place. And secondly, it is entirely legitimate to go after targets in the depth of your opponents to disrupt their logistics and supply lines.”

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday accused the UK of being involved in a proxy war against Moscow by supplying Ukraine with arms and “pouring oil on the fire” by providing ammunations.

Mr Lavrov said the danger of a third world war was “serious and real” and that Moscow views weapons provided to Ukraine by the alliance as legitimate targets.

Nato, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy, and is arming that proxy. War means war,” Mr Lavrov said.

Western countries and Nato have donated hundreds of millions of pounds of military aid, including artillery and drones they held back from sending during the earlier phase of the war and US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said more help was on the way.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here.

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