Russian President Vladimir Putin sent perhaps the strongest message yet that if the West continues to bolster Ukraine’s weapons supply, the West will be targeted. Precision hits near Kyiv on Sunday obliterated a parking area full of tanks sent in from Eastern Europe and a train repair garage, where it is thought rail cars were being fitted to bring in military hardware, near Kyiv on Sunday. It is the first time the capital city has been targeted in more than a month in this now 114-day-old debacle.
Putin warned that such targeted attacks would continue—in a statement delivered by minions—claiming that any further Western deliveries of long range rocket systems, tanks or weapons would prompt targeted attacks, adding ominously that they would hit “objects that we haven’t yet struck.”
It is no coincidence, perhaps, that the Biden administration just pledged $700 million in precision-guided and medium-range rocket systems in addition to Javelin anti-tank rockets, radars, helicopters and other hardware. The U.K., on Thursday, pledged M270 rocket launch systems capable of hitting targets 50 miles away, which the British Foreign office said would give Ukraine “a significant boost in capability.”
As Russia targets Western depots, they are also making significant gains in the Donbas region, where fighting started in 2014, and they destroyed a number of workshops in the Donetsk region, including a repair shop where damaged military equipment used by Ukraine was being repaired. One of the five X-11 missiles fired at Kyiv nearly struck the Energoatom nuclear plant in Pivdennoukrainsk, according to the AP, sparking new fears that Ukraine’s considerable nuclear power infrastructure remained a danger to all of Europe.
The British Defense Ministry said that Russia likely has relocated its air defense systems to Snake Island to protect it against any incoming strikes, now more possible thanks to donations from Ukraine’s Western allies.
Sunday, Putin again lashed out at the West, blaming them—not him—for prolonging the war he started Feb. 24. “All this fuss around additional deliveries of weapons, in my opinion, has only one goal: to drag out the armed conflict as much as possible,” he said in a scripted interview that aired on Russian television Sunday night.
Russia also seemed to gloat about the effectiveness of sanctions—or lack thereof, by announcing that they are actually seeing a surge in profits thanks to the spike in energy costs brought on by sanctions. “Considering the price level that has been established as a result of the West’s policies, we have suffered no budgetary losses,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a Bosnian Serb TV over the weekend. “On the contrary, this year we will significantly increase the profits from the export of our energy resources.”