Russian pundit warns US not to cross red line or provoke harsh retaliation

Russian TV host says US ‘crossed red line’

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Russian state-controlled television network Russia One declared the US would cross the “red line” by providing long-range rocket systems to Ukrainian forces.

President Zelensky has requested more advanced weaponry from NATO countries in order to strengthen the Ukrainian defence against Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Russian host, Olga Skabeyeva warned the international allies of Ukraine would force Putin to launch a “harsh response” against the United States.

In a broadcast to the Russian population, she said: “The US intends to discuss the issue of supplying Ukraine with these weapons as soon as next week.”

She continued: “At the present time, the issue is being addressed by the US presidential administration.

“In essence, we’re not even talking about tactical weapons anymore but about operational tactical weapons.” 

The Russian state pundit described the dangers of supplying such advanced weaponry to the Ukrainian forces which would make long-range targets accessible to the defensive front.

Ms Skabeyeva said: “The American multiple launch rocket systems can launch shells over 500km.”

The Russian television host claimed the US provision of weapons would provoke Russian authorities and force retaliation from Putin against Ukraine’s international allies.

Ms Skabeyeva said: “If the Americans do that, they’ll clearly be crossing a red line.

“We’ll have witnessed an attempt to provoke a very harsh response from Russia.”

The “red line” described by Ms Skabeyeva appeared to be a reference to the historical tensions between the US and Russia.

Read more: ‘Uneven!’ EU farce as countries only sending ‘low levels’ of weapons

Ukrainian military equipment is notably outdated and their lack of long-distance weapons has restricted the defensive forces from targeting Russian strongholds beyond the immediate frontline.

The rocket systems produced by the US would enable the Ukrainian military to target strategic bases seven hundred kilometres away.

Concerning American military provision, a spokesperson from the Pentagon said any final decisions on what equipment would be made available to Ukraine “haven’t been made yet.”

There has been concerns that the long-range artillery would allow Ukraine to strike targets inside Russia, risking an expansion of the war across borders.

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Russian television broadcasts have already outlined plans to target military equipment that has landed in Ukraine.

The US committed to delivering 90 M-777 howitzers to the Ukrainian defence, a powerful piece of ground-towed artillery.

In an earlier broadcast, Russian military journalist Mikhail Khodaryonok revealed Putin’s forces would launch targeted attacks to destroy the howitzers operated by Ukrainian forces.

He said: “There is every reason to believe these howitzers will be the most high-priority targets in the very near future.

“For the units of our missile forces and artillery and for units of our aerospace forces, they will be searched for, discovered, and hit.”

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