Russia warns U.S. to stop arming Ukraine

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/04/14/russia-warns-us-stop-arming-ukraine/

So here it is, the vague threat from Russia that we step out of it or else.  Or else what?  Wel lor else he might use that good old nuke he keeps threatening with.  So now do we give in?  Does the world back off and say sorry?   I have been warning this was coming.  Now can we make our own threats?  Now can we help do what we know we can do?  

Russia this week sent a formal diplomatic note to the United States warning that U.S. and NATO shipments of the “most sensitive” weapons systems to Ukraine were “adding fuel” to the conflict there and could bring “unpredictable consequences.”

The diplomatic démarche, a copy of which was reviewed by The Washington Post, came as President Biden approved a dramatic expansion in the scope of weapons being provided to Ukraine, an $800 million package including 155 mm howitzers — a serious upgrade in long-range artillery to match Russian systems — coastal defense drones and armored vehicles, as well as additional portable antiaircraft and antitank weapons and millions of rounds of ammunition.

The United States has also facilitated the shipment to Ukraine of long-range air defense systems, including Slovakia’s shipment of Russian-manufactured Soviet-era S-300 launchers on which Ukrainian forces have already been trained. In exchange, the administration announced last week, the United States is deploying a Patriot missile system to Slovakia and consulting with Slovakia on a long-term replacement.

 
 

Shipment of the weapons, the first wave of which U.S. officials said would arrive in Ukraine within days, follows an urgent appeal to Biden from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as Russian forces were said to be mobilizing for a major assault on eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region and along the coastal strip connecting it with Russian-occupied Crimea in the south. Russian troops have largely withdrawn from much of the northern part of the country, including around the capital, Kyiv, following humiliating defeats by the Ukrainian military and local resistance forces.

“What the Russians are telling us privately is precisely what we’ve been telling the world publicly — that the massive amount of assistance that we’ve been providing our Ukrainian partners is proving extraordinarily effective,” said a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the sensitive diplomatic document.

The State Department declined to comment on the contents of the two-page diplomatic note or any U.S. response.

Russia experts suggested that Moscow, which has labeled weapons convoys coming into the country as legitimate military targets but has not thus far attacked them, may be preparing to do so.

 
 

“They have targeted supply depots in Ukraine itself, where some of these supplies have been stored,” said George Beebe, former director of Russia analysis at the CIA and Russia adviser to former vice president Dick Cheney. “The real question is do they go beyond attempting to target [the weapons] on Ukrainian territory, try to hit the supply convoys themselves and perhaps the NATO countries on the Ukrainian periphery” that serve as transfer points for the U.S. supplies.

If Russian forces stumble in the next phase of the war as they did in the first, “then I think the chances that Russia targets NATO supplies on NATO territory go up considerably,” Beebe said. “There has been an assumption on the part of a lot of us in the West that we could supply the Ukrainians really without limits and not bear significant risk of retaliation from Russia,” he said. “I think the Russians want to send a message here that that’s not true.”

U.S. troops, seen during the Afghanistan war, fire a 155 mm howitzer like those that will be supplied to Ukraine. (Pfc. Micah E. Clare/U.S. Defense Department)

The diplomatic note was dated Tuesday, as word first leaked of the new arms package that brought the total amount of U.S. military aid provided to Ukraine since the Feb. 24 invasion to $3.2 billion, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. In a public announcement Wednesday, Biden said it would include “new capabilities tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine.”

 
 

The document, titled “On Russia’s concerns in the context of massive supplies of weapons and military equipment to the Kiev regime,” written in Russian with a translation provided, was forwarded to the State Department by the Russian Embassy in Washington.

The Russian Embassy did not respond to requests for comment.

Among the items Russia identified as “most sensitive” were “multiple launch rocket systems,” although the United States and its NATO allies are not believed to have supplied those weapons to Ukraine. Russia accused the allies of violating “rigorous principles” governing the transfer of weapons to conflict zones, and of being oblivious to “the threat of high-precision weapons falling into the hands of radical nationalists, extremists and bandit forces in Ukraine.”

 

It accused NATO of trying to pressure Ukraine to “abandon” sputtering, and so far unsuccessful, negotiations with Russia “in order to continue the bloodshed.” Washington, it said, was pressuring other countries to stop any military and technical cooperation with Russia, and those with Soviet-era weapons to transfer them to Ukraine.

 

“We call on the United States and its allies to stop the irresponsible militarization of Ukraine, which implies unpredictable consequences for regional and international security,” the note said.

Andrew Weiss, a former National Security Council director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian affairs, and now vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a speech on the February morning that the invasion began, warned that Western nations would face “consequences greater than any you have faced in history” if they became involved in the conflict.

 

Attention at the time focused on Putin’s reminder that Russia possesses a powerful nuclear arsenal, Weiss said, but it was also “a very explicit warning about not sending weapons into a conflict zone.” Having drawn a red line, he asked, are the Russians “now inclined to back that up?”

 

Such an attack would be “a very important escalatory move, first and foremost because it represents a threat to the West if they aren’t able to keep supplies flowing into Ukraine, which by extension might diminish Ukraine’s capacity for self-defense.” That risk “shouldn’t be downplayed,” he said, noting the added risk that an attempt to strike a convoy inside Ukraine could go awry over the border into NATO territory.

Senior U.S. defense officials remain concerned about the possibility of such attacks. “We don’t take any movement of weapons and systems going into Ukraine for granted,” Kirby said Thursday. “Not on any given day.”

Kirby said Ukrainian troops bring the weapons into Ukraine after the United States brings them into the region, and “the less we say about that, the better.”

11 thoughts on “Russia warns U.S. to stop arming Ukraine

  1. What a horrible situation. Now i think only sending prayers to heaven can help, or we will find us in the midst of the Third WorldWar. Dont forget, there are also tiny sized nuclear weapons, which can make region unhabitable for generations. ;-/ Best wishes, Scottie! xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. only sending prayers to heaven can help … Unless you wrote this as a tongue-in-cheek remark (since I don’t know you, I can’t tell), I seriously doubt such an action will change anything.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Hello Michael. I just realized your comments were being sent to spam. I have no idea how or when that happened.
          I have gone back through the spam filtered comments to try to manually approve all I could find. Sorry it happened; I value your comments. Thanks

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Hello Michael. Yes and the list of tactical nuclear weapons includes ammunition made with radioactive material. As I just wrote to Nan the Russian defense posture has no sanctions on the use of tactical nukes and there has been talk by Ukrainian President Zelenskyy that Russia is planning to use them in the up coming battles. I know you do not need this info but for those wondering what tactical nuclear weapons are.

      A tactical nuclear weapon (TNW) or non-strategic nuclear weapon[1] is a nuclear weapon which is designed to be used on a battlefield in military situations, mostly with friendly forces in proximity and perhaps even on contested friendly territory. Generally smaller in explosive power, they are defined in contrast to strategic nuclear weapons, which are designed mostly to be targeted at the enemy interior away from the war front against military bases, cities, towns, arms industries, and other hardened or larger-area targets to damage the enemy’s ability to wage war.

      Tactical nuclear weapons include gravity bombs, short-range missiles, artillery shells, land mines, depth charges, and torpedoes which are equipped with nuclear warheads. Also in this category are nuclear armed ground-based or shipborne surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and air-to-air missiles. Small, two-man portable or truck-portable tactical weapons (sometimes misleadingly referred to as suitcase nukes), such as the Special Atomic Demolition Munition and the Davy Crockett recoilless rifle (recoilless smoothbore gun) have been developed, but the difficulty of combining sufficient yield with portability could limit their military utility. In wartime, such explosives could be used for demolishing “chokepoints” to enemy offensives, such as at tunnels, narrow mountain passes, and long viaducts.

      There is no exact definition of the “tactical” category in terms of range or yield of the nuclear weapon.[2][3] The yield of tactical nuclear weapons is generally lower than that of strategic nuclear weapons, but larger ones are still very powerful, and some variable-yield warheads serve in both roles. For example, the W89 200 kiloton warhead was intended to arm both the tactical Sea Lance anti-submarine rocket-propelled depth charge and the strategic bomber-launched SRAM II stand off missile. Modern tactical nuclear warheads have yields up to the tens of kilotons, or potentially hundreds, several times that of the weapons used in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Specifically on the Korean Peninsula, with a nuclear North Korea facing off against a NPT-compliant South Korea, there have been calls to request a return of US-owned and -operated, short range, low yield nuclear weapons (called “tactical” by the US military) to provide a local strategic deterrent to the North’s growing domestically-produced nuclear arsenal and delivery systems.[4]

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactical_nuclear_weapon

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  2. Scottie, this is a strong indication that Putin knows he is losing. It is a flailing of his arms trying to land a punch. I recognize fully he is a dangerous animal given his malevolence, but the best response is to keep doing what we are doing as it is working. Heeding to his wishes would not be wise. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Keith. I agree we shouldn’t do as Putin wishes. That would be to just turn out back on Ukraine and let him do whatever he wants. I have to disagree some with your assessment. According to Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer on Meet the Press that Putin feels he is winning. The cruelty and added misery he is inflicting on Ukraine now is because they dared defy him. He is the domestic abuser who was immediately obeyed. He is punishing the people so that they will know his power, his superiority, he must be bowed to and acknowledged in fear. I have seen that response before. Make a mistake by standing up to or displeasing the abuser just wait until you get in private then you will really pay.

      The US is now sending helicopters. The Ukrainians have been asking for help or equipment to control their skies. From the start people tell me that giving Ukraine those MIGs would put the US or NATO into the war and anger Putin. Tell me how that is different from sending helicopters that can also carry missiles and weapons? How is that not the same as sending fixed wing aircraft? Does the US get to issue some threats now also? I am not a Warhawk. I also don’t think the US should enforce their will on less powerful countries. This is not that. The US has been more than invited in. This is the big kid on the football team standing up for the plucky kid being beaten up by some bullies. I believe if you have the ability to help in a situation you have the responsibility to help. I think that the suffering and harm being done to the men, women, and children of Ukraine is something the US can and should do everything in our power to stop. That includes returning control of the Ukrainian skies to the Ukrainians.

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      1. Scottie, good points. Putin is a bully and the best way to beat a bully is to stand up to him. He beats on his chest, kicks the weakened, and distributes disinformation. He will test us to see what he can get away, yet in this case, he did not count on so many turning against him. And, what he did not count on is Zelenskyy doing precisely what I defined above and not leaving. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

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