January 28, 2023

Long before the war in Ukraine, the Kremlin expressed concern over US efforts to develop the so-called Prompt Global Strike capability, which envisions hitting an adversary’s strategic targets anywhere in the world with precision-guided conventional weapons within an hour .

Putin noted that such an attack could disable command facilities.

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“We just think about it, they haven’t been shy about talking about it openly in recent years,” he said, claiming that Moscow’s precision-guided cruise missiles outperform comparable US weapons and that Russia has hypersonic weapons that the US does not have . deployed.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Friday that Washington was increasingly concerned about the “deeper and burgeoning defense partnership” between Iran and Russia and would work to disrupt that relationship, including on the of drones.

Washington sent a $275 million ($404.5 million) aid package to Ukraine to bolster air defenses and defeat drones, he said.

British UN ambassador Barbara Woodward said Iran had sent hundreds of drones that Russia had used in Ukraine.

A Ukrainian soldier takes a selfie with President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, during his visit to Sloviansk, Donbas region of Ukraine.Credit:AP

“Russia is now trying to acquire more weapons, including hundreds of ballistic missiles,” she told reporters. “In return, Russia is providing Iran with an unprecedented level of military and technical support.”

The Iranian and Russian missions to the United Nations did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Putin also said that Moscow would probably make a deal on Ukraine one day, but that Russia’s near-total loss of confidence in the West would make a final settlement, which he did not elaborate on, much more difficult.

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On the ground in Ukraine, the entire front line in the east of the country was fired on, the governor of the partly Russian-occupied Donetsk region said. Five civilians were killed and two injured in Ukrainian-controlled areas, the governor said.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian troops held out in the Donbas, comprising the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, despite enormous difficulties, but that Russian troops had reduced the city of Bakhmut to ruins.

“The situation on the front line remains very difficult,” he said in an evening speech. “I thank all our heroes, all soldiers and commanders who … repulse attacks and inflict significant losses on the enemy.”

‘The Question of Trust’

Putin previously repeated an accusation that the West was “exploiting” Ukraine and using its people as “cannon fodder” in a conflict with Russia, saying the West’s desire to maintain its global dominance carried increasing risks.

“They are deliberately increasing chaos and exacerbating the international situation,” Putin said in a video message at a summit of defense ministers from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and a group of ex-Soviet states.

He later specifically criticized France and Germany, which in 2014 and 2015 brokered ceasefire agreements between Kiev and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, saying they had betrayed Moscow by supplying Ukraine with weapons.

“The issue of trust arises. And trust is of course almost zero… But still, eventually we have to come to agreements. I have said many times that we are ready for these agreements,” Putin said.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin criticized Putin on Friday when he expressed concern over Russia’s growing nuclear arsenal. His remarks came hours after Putin vowed that any country that dared attack Russia with nuclear weapons would be wiped off the face of the earth.

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“As the Kremlin continues its vicious and unprovoked war of choice against Ukraine, the whole world has watched Putin engage in deeply irresponsible nuclear saber-rattling,” said Austin, speaking at US Strategic Command, which oversees US nuclear forces. .

Reuters/AP

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