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Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Russia Warns of Nuclear War and World War 3


KYIV, Ukraine: Russia has warned of the "real" threat of World War 3 breaking out, ahead of a Tuesday meeting between the United States and allies over sending further arms to war-torn Ukraine.

Moscow's invasion of its neighbor has triggered an outburst of support from Western nations that have seen weapons pour into the country to help it wage war against Russian troops.

But Western powers have been reluctant to deepen their involvement, for fear of sparking a conflict against nuclear-armed Russia.

Speaking to Russian news agencies, Moscow's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the risk of a World War 3 "is serious" and criticized Kyiv's approach to floundering peace talks.

"It is real, you can't underestimate it," Lavrov said.

For months, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been asking Ukraine's Western allies for heavy weapons — including artillery and fighter jets — vowing his forces could turn the tide of the war with more firepower.

The calls appear to be resonating now, with a host of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) countries pledging to provide a range of heavy weapons and equipment despite protests from Moscow.

In a landmark trip to Kyiv over the weekend, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Zelenskyy and promised $700 million in new aid to Ukraine.

"The first step in winning is believing that you can win," Austin told a group of journalists after meeting the Ukrainian leader.

"We believe that we can win — they can win — if they have the right equipment, the right support." At the invitation of the United States, 40 countries will also hold a security summit in Germany on Tuesday to discuss further arms to Ukraine — as well as to ensure the country's longer-term security once the war is over. 

Among the invited countries are European allies of the United States, Australia and Japan who fear that a Russian victory in Ukraine will set a precedent and encourage the territorial ambitions of China.

Finland and Sweden — traditionally neutral countries that have been considering NATO membership since Russia's invasion of Ukraine — are also on the guest list.

On the Russian side, President Vladimir Putin is due to hold talks with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday, his spokesman told RIA Novosti.

Death and destruction but far from the diplomatic hustle and bustle, on the frontline, civilians continue to die in fighting raging across war-torn Ukraine.

At least five people were killed and another 18 wounded on Monday after a Russian rocket attack targeted railway infrastructure in the central Ukraine region of Vinnytsia.

The head of Ukraine Railways, Alexander Kamyshin, had earlier announced the attacks, accusing Moscow's army of "systematically" destroying railway infrastructure. 

Dozens of people were killed earlier this month in Russian strikes on a train station used for evacuations in the eastern city of Kramatorsk.

Ukraine's second city, Kharkiv, remains partially surrounded and Moscow's forces are regrouping in the south, but a Russian attempt to break through towards Zaporizhzhia in the east failed, the ministry added.

In Kharkiv — which has faced a daily barrage of Russian rocket attacks since the war began over three months ago — children spoke to Agence France-Presse about the bombings, their daily life and hopes for peace.

"I miss my kickboxing training and dance classes," said Alina, 9, who has been forced to sleep in an underground car park.


"Victory would make me very happy. The war won't end straight away, but it will in a few weeks, I made a wish." Russia has in recent weeks accused Ukrainian forces of striking targets on Russian soil, including two villages in Belgorod and another in the region of Bryansk.

Moscow also accused Kyiv of preventing civilians trapped with Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol's Azovstal steelworks from leaving the besieged industrial complex despite a ceasefire announcement.

Meanwhile, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) warned that Asian nations, like the rest of the world, are being battered by the war, with Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions on Moscow driving up food and fuel prices worldwide.

"This is a challenging time for policymakers as they try to address pressures on growth and tackle rising inflation," IMF official Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf wrote in a blog.

[ By AFP / The Manila Times ]

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