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Russia warns of escalation, nuclear war outbreak as West mulls sending powerful weapons to Ukraine

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Disclaimer: A number of claims and counterclaims are being made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the ground and online. While WION takes utmost care to accurately report this developing news story, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos. 

Russia on Thursday (January 19) issued a warning that the ongoing Ukraine war will escalate if the West provides Kyiv with longer-range weapons. Since the Russia-Ukraine conflict started, the United States has sent advanced and high-precision weapons and other military assistance to Ukraine to help the war-torn nation against Russian aggression. 

The aid included multiple-launch High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS). But Kyiv urged the West to send long-range weapons to strike far behind Russian lines. But the supply of long-range weapons remained highly debated. 

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, told reporters on Thursday: “Potentially, this is extremely dangerous, it will mean bringing the conflict to a whole new level, which, of course, will not bode well from the point of view of global and pan-European security.” 

In a separate statement, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev warned that the West’s continued support for Ukraine could lead to nuclear war. 

In a post on Telegram, he wrote: “A nuclear power’s loss in a conventional war can provoke the outbreak of a nuclear war. Nuclear powers have not lost major conflicts on which their fate depends.” 

Meeting at Ramstein Air Base 

A report in Politico mentioned that the US officials told the news website that Washington is likely to announce that it will send long-range missiles with a range of over 100 miles to Ukraine this week. 

The decision might come on Friday as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and other defence leaders are due to meet at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. In the key donor meeting, they are expected to talk about strategy and also support the West’s attempt to defeat Russia in Ukraine. 

The US might send the Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), which is a rocket-launched manoeuvrable glide bomb, with double the range of HIMARS missiles. 

As reported by news agencies, a US official said the Biden administration was set to approve a new aid package to Ukraine, worth more than $2 billion, which would likely include Stryker armoured vehicles for Kyiv, but not M1 Abrams tanks. 

News agencies have reported that a US official said the Biden administration was set to approve a new aid package to Ukraine. The latest package’s worth would be more than $2 billion. It is expected that it will include Stryker armoured vehicles for Kyiv. So far, there’s no mention of M1 Abrams tanks. 

Disclaimer: WION cannot independently verify the authenticity of photos and videos shared on social media. 

USA’s 🇺🇸 next military aid package for Ukraine 🇺🇦 will likely include GLSDB Long Range Missiles with a range of 150km, and Stryker Armored Fighting Vehicles (Politico) pic.twitter.com/JFiPjDIoQi

— Ukraine Battle Map (@ukraine_map) January 18, 2023

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Meanwhile, Sweden on Thursday announced that it will send its Archer artillery system to Ukraine along with armoured vehicles and anti-tank missiles. The Archer artillery system is a modern mobile howitzer. 

Speaking at a press conference, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said his government had agreed on a three-part military support package for Kyiv. The aid will include “the first decision on starting deliveries of the artillery system Archer to Ukraine”. 

WATCH | Russia-Ukraine War: US Defence Secy arrives in Berlin; Kyiv says tank supplies should come quicker 

Zelensky’s request for weapons 

In a video address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Western supplies of tanks and air defence units should come more quickly. 

After a constant request by Ukraine, pressure has been mounting on Germany from European allies to authorise exports of its Leopard tank. These tanks are used by several armed forces around the world. However, several media reports suggested that Berlin has put a condition that it will send the tanks to Ukraine only if the US does the same. The Ukrainian president even criticised Germany for reluctance over sending tanks. 

EU chief Charles Michel announced on Thursday that he is visiting Ukraine. In Kyiv, the EU chief will meet Zelensky and they will talk about what “concrete measures” Europe can take to support Ukraine. 

In a video posted on Twitter, Michel said, “I am on my way to Kyiv.” Michel stated that he would also meet Zelensky as well as the prime minister and members of parliament. 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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