The Kremlin said on Monday that tanks Britain plans to send to Ukraine “will burn,” warning the West that supplying a new round of more advanced weapons to Ukraine would not change the outcome of the war.
Since President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, the United States and its allies have given tens of billions of dollars’ worth of weaponry including rocket systems, drones, armored vehicles and communications systems.
Britain said on Saturday it would send 14 of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks as well as other advanced artillery support in the coming weeks.
“These tanks are burning and will burn just like the rest,” Peskov said.
Peskov said the new supplies from countries like Britain and Poland would not change the situation on the ground, but were an attempt to draw out the conflict which he said would ultimately bring “more troubles” on Ukraine.
Putin said in an interview aired on Sunday that the military operation in Ukraine had gained positive momentum and that he hoped his soldiers would deliver more wins after Russia claimed control of the eastern Ukrainian salt-mining town of Soledar.
The Kremlin chief now casts the war in Ukraine as an existential battle with an aggressive and arrogant West, and has said that Russia will use all available means to protect itself and its people against any enemy.
The United States and its allies have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an imperial-style land grab, while Ukraine has vowed to fight until the last Russian soldier is ejected from its territory.
Vladimir Solovyev, a pro-Kremlin presenter on Rossiya 1 state television, said any Western countries which supplied more advanced weapons to Ukraine should be considered legitimate targets for Russia.
“De-facto, Britain has entered the war,” Solovyev told his flagship Sunday night talk show on state television. “I consider Britain is now a legitimate target for us.”
His comments were followed by a discussion on state television with lawmaker Andrei Gurulyev about the utility of resuming Russia nuclear testing so that the whole world “shuddered,” and even of wiping out Britain.
“If there is no London, then we would have victory,” Gurulyev said. “On Britain, I said six months ago that it should be wiped from the face of the earth.”
Ukraine’s allies are due to meet in Ramstein, Germany on Friday to discuss providing it with more arms. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is under pressure to allow the export of Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine by Germany, which makes them, and other countries that have them.
Death toll in Russian missile strike in Ukraine rises to 40
The death toll from a Russian missile strike in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro rose to 40 on Monday with dozens more missing, making it the deadliest civilian incident of Moscow’s three-month campaign of hurling missiles at cities far from the front.
Ukrainian officials acknowledged little hope of finding anyone else alive in the rubble of Saturday’s attack in Dnipro, but President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the rescue in the central Ukrainian city would go on “as long as there is even the slightest chance to save lives.”
“Dozens of people were rescued from the rubble, including six children. We are fighting for every person!” Zelenskyy said in an overnight televised address.
Moscow denies intentionally targeting civilians in a campaign of air strikes since October that have knocked out power and water in Ukrainian cities, and says the incident in Dnipro was caused by Ukrainian air defences.
Kyiv says it has no way of shooting down the anti-ship missile it says struck an apartment building in Dnipro on Saturday during Russia’s latest volley of attacks.
At least 40 people were killed in the attack with 30 still unaccounted for, city official Gennadiy Korban said. He said 75 people were wounded including 14 children.