Vladimir Putin has warned Western allies of Ukraine that Russia will retaliate against those directly involving themselves in the war, and such a response will not be limited to just “tanks and armor.”
The Russian president used an address on the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi forces at Stalingrad on Thursday to issue his country’s chilling response to the latest military and financial support allied countries have offered to Kyiv in a bid to repel Russian forces.
“We know that despite the efforts of official, peddled propaganda, we still have many friends in unfriendly countries and in the Western elite. And even all over the world, including on the American continent, in North America, in Europe,” he said.
“But those who are pushing European countries, including Germany, into a new war with Russia, and irresponsibly talking about victory as already achieved, those who are counting on victory against Russia on the battlefield, probably do not understand that the outcome of today’s war with Russia will not be their desired one.
“We don’t send our tanks to their borders, but we have the means to fight back. And our response will not be limited to tanks and armor. Everyone must understand this,” Putin warned.
“Today, we must not allow anyone to diminish the importance of the Battle of Stalingrad in defeating Nazism, in freeing the whole world from this terrible evil. Now, unfortunately, we see Nazi ideology in a new form, how it creates new threats to the security of our country.
“We must reject the aggression of the collective West. Incredible, but true. This is the reality. They threaten us again, this time with German Leopard tanks, on which the same crosses are placed,” Putin added.
Western allies have recently signed off on the transfer of heavy-armored battle tanks to Ukraine, as the country prepares for a spring offensive to take back control of the remaining areas in the Donbas occupied by Russia.
Leaders of NATO member states fell short, however, of offering further support in the shape of fighter jets, despite Zelensky’s demand for them, over fears it could lead to Russian retaliation.