Russian Forces Prioritize Foreign-Made Tanks as Priority Target in Ukraine War, Says Putin

Russian Forces Target Foreign-Made Tanks in Ukraine, Says President Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that foreign-made tanks are a “priority target” for Russian forces in Ukraine. In an interview with state television, Putin also emphasized that the supply of Western weaponry to Kyiv will not alter the outcome of the ongoing conflict. He expressed concerns over Ukraine’s membership in NATO, asserting that it would threaten Russia’s security and escalate tensions globally. France’s decision to provide long-range cruise missiles to Ukraine was described by Putin as not causing critical damage in the war zone. The Russian leader added that foreign-made tanks were a top priority for his forces.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden declared that Russia has already lost the war in Ukraine and expressed hope that the Ukrainian forces’ counteroffensive would push Moscow towards negotiations. During a press conference in Helsinki, Biden also reaffirmed that Ukraine would eventually join NATO, despite the alliance’s failure to provide a membership timeline at the recent summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. While NATO leaders stated that Ukraine would join when conditions are met, Biden expressed optimism about Ukraine’s NATO membership, stating that it’s not a matter of if but when.

In response to the NATO summit’s developments, Putin addressed the targeting of Western tanks and reiterated his strong opposition to Ukraine’s potential membership in the defense bloc. He argued that such a move would threaten Russia’s strategic interests and make the world more vulnerable. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) highlighted the muted response from Russia, suggesting that the events at the NATO summit signaled setbacks for the Kremlin’s pre-war objectives. Despite the wider defeat that the summit represents for Russia, Russian sources have reported on the event in a restrained manner, according to the ISW.

In a show of Moscow’s displeasure with NATO’s support for Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov referred to the F-16 fighter jets sent to Ukraine as a “nuclear” threat due to their potential to carry atomic bombs. He dismissed assurances, emphasizing Russia’s concern over the aircraft’s capabilities. Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s Deputy Secretary of the Security Council, further warned that NATO assistance to Ukraine could bring the threat of a third global conflict closer. While Ukrainian pilots are set to begin training on F-16s in Romania next month, the supply of US-made warplanes to Ukraine has yet to be agreed upon by Kyiv’s military allies.

In conclusion, the situation in Ukraine remains tense as Russian forces target foreign-made tanks and the supply of Western weapons continues to be a point of contention. President Putin expressed concerns over Ukraine’s potential membership in NATO, while President Biden reiterated his support for Ukraine’s eventual inclusion in the alliance. The war in Ukraine has faced setbacks for Russia’s pre-war aims, according to the ISW, despite the muted response from Russian sources. The ongoing developments underscore the escalating tensions between Russia and Western nations, with potential implications for global security.