Russian leaders have warned that US involvement could result in direct confrontation with pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine’s east…
(Zero Hedge) Russia has reacted fiercely to the end of week breaking news that President Trump plans to approve the legal sale of US antitank missiles and possibly other advanced systems to the Ukrainian government in a move that could change the battlefield calculus of the war between Ukrainian and Russian-aligned forces in the Donbass region along the Russian border.
ABC News described the “total defense package of $47 million includes the sale of 210 anti-tank missiles and 35 launchers” which will be sure to harm Trump’s longtime stated goal of improving relations with Moscow.
Though Kiev has long had limited access to US lethal arms through private contracts with American and international arms producers, this represents a significant escalation involving the likelihood that advanced US systems would be used directly on Russian-aligned militias in the eastern Donbass region and potentially Russian forces along the border.
Up until now, the White House has been reluctant to escalate the war so openly, as it did when it supplied anti-Assad fighters in Syria with sophisticated TOW anti-tank missiles.
While the US State Department claims the move is “defensive” in nature, Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov charged the US with deliberately “crossing the line” and pushing the Ukrainian authorities “towards new bloodshed,” adding that “American weapons can lead to new victims”…
He further slammed the US as an “accomplice in igniting a war” whose political leadership is “blinded by Russophobia and eagerly applaud the Ukrainian nationalist punitive battalions…”