As the United States keeps arming Kyiv, Russia accuses it of being “complicit in war crimes.”
During a media conference, Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Department of Foreign Affairs, claimed that the United States would “cross the red line and be an actual participant in the conflict” if it decided to equip Ukraine with longer-range missiles.
She went on to say that doing so would be the same as putting medium-range missiles located on the ground in Europe and that such weapons had been forbidden under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Agreement (INF Treaty), which the United States withdrew from in 2019.
Russia “reserves the right to protect its territory using whatever means available,” Zakharova said, adding that “in such a situation, we would need to come up with an effective reaction.”
Multiple launch missile systems (MLRS) M142 HIMARS & M270 MLRS given by the United States to Ukraine have an effective range of about 70 kilometers.
In addition to the HIMARS & MLRS systems, Kyiv is looking to acquire the U.S.-made Army Tactical Cruise Missile (ATACMS), which may be launched with the same systems. This allows the missiles to reach far into Russian territory and attack targets.
Zakharova claims that America’s active engagement in the crisis in Ukraine is a result of Washington’s desire to prolong the conflict for as long as it can so that it may exert influence over its course. She also said the United States is trying to create chaos on a global scale and start a new weapons race.
When Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov charged the United States with “boasting” about helping Ukraine’s military and pushing Kyiv against Russia the day before, these claims came as no surprise. Antonov also dismissed as “ridiculous” and “unfounded” American assertions that they are not directly involved in the fight.
This month, the Pentagon also unveiled an updated military assistance package for Kyiv. Weapons worth a combined total of $675 million have been included in the deal. These weapons categories include artillery ammunition, armored vehicles, and remote-launched mines.