Lavrov warns of 'nuclear war' risk

Russia warns ‘serious’ nuclear war risks should not be underestimated

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) speaks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) during the first plenary session as part of the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit at the Sirius Park of Science and Art in Sochi, Russia, 24 October 2019. EPA-EFE/SERGEI CHIRIKOV /

LVIV, Ukraine/KYIV, April 26 (Reuters) - Russia told the world not to underestimate the considerable risks of nuclear war that it said it wanted to reduce and warned that conventional Western weapons were legitimate targets in Ukraine, where battles raged in the east.

  • Russia warns U.S. against arming Ukraine
  • U.S. eyes ammunition for howitzers, tanks, grenade launchers
  • UK to send ambulances, fire engines and medical supplies

By Oleksandr Kozhukhar and Pavel Polityuk

“The risks now are considerable,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russia’s state television according to a transcript of an interview on the ministry’s website.

“I would not want to elevate those risks artificially. Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we must not underestimate it.”

Lavrov had been asked about the importance of avoiding World War Three and whether the current situation was comparable to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, a low point in U.S-Soviet relations.

Russia had lost its “last hope to scare the world off supporting Ukraine,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter after Lavrov’s interview. “This only means Moscow senses defeat.”

During a visit to Kyiv on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin promised more military aid for Ukraine.

The U.S. State Department on Monday used an emergency declaration to approve the potential sale of $165 million worth of ammunition to Ukraine. The Pentagon said the package could include artillery ammunition for howitzers, tanks and grenade launchers. Read full story

Moscow’s ambassador to Washington told the United States to halt shipments, warning Western weapons were inflaming the conflict. Read full story

Lavrov said: “NATO, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy. War means war.”

Russia’s two-month-old invasion of Ukraine, the biggest attack on a European state since 1945, has left thousands dead or injured, reduced towns and cities to rubble, and forced over 5 million people to flee abroad.

Moscow calls its actions a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and the West says this a false pretext for an unprovoked war of aggression by President Vladimir Putin.

The United States is due to host an expected gathering of more than 40 countries this week for Ukraine-related defence talks that will focus on arming Kyiv, U.S. officials said.

Britain said all tariffs on goods coming into the country from Ukraine under an existing free trade deal will be axed and it would send new ambulances, fire engines, medical supplies and funding for health experts to help the emergency services.



Russia has yet to capture any of the biggest cities. Its forces were forced to pull back from the outskirts of Kyiv in the face of stiff resistance.

“It is obvious that every day – and especially today, when the third month of our resistance has begun – that everyone in Ukraine is concerned with peace, about when it will all be over,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said late on Monday.

“There is no simple answer to that at this time.”

Having failed to take the capital Kyiv, Moscow last week launched a massive assault in an attempt to capture eastern provinces known as the Donbas, which if successful would link territory held by pro-Russian separatists in the east with the Crimea region that Moscow annexed in 2014.

Russia’s defence ministry said its missiles destroyed six facilities powering the railways that were used to deliver foreign weapons to Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbas region. Reuters could not verify the report. Read full story

The head of Ukraine’s state rail company said that one railway worker had been killed and four injured by Russian missile strikes on five Ukrainian railway stations on Monday.

Ukrainian forces have repelled five Russian attacks and killed just over 200 Russian servicemen, said the Ukrainian military command in the southern and eastern sectors.

Five tanks were also destroyed, along with eight armoured vehicles, it said in a statement

Reuters was not able to immediately verify the reports.

Russian forces were continuing on Monday to bomb and shell the vast Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol where fighters are hunkered down in a city ravaged by a siege and bombardment, Ukrainian presidential aide Oleksiy Arestovych said.

Moscow said it was opening a humanitarian corridor to let civilians out of the plant but Kyiv said no agreement had been reached.



(Additional reporting by Reuters journalists; writing by Costas Pitas and Michael Perry; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Stephen Coates)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    These two odious and criminal idiots have finally realised that they have grabbed a tiger by the tail. Ukraine and the West are fighting back and giving them a hiding like never before. They have miscalculated so badly and their evil plans are unraveling. All they can do is threaten hell, destroy and kill innocent people, so intrinsic in the Kremlin DNA. The West also has nuclear weapons and they should be emphatically reminded that they will be wiped off the face of this earth should these mass murderers dare use them.

  • Carsten Rasch says:

    Like schoolyard bullies, Putin and his henchmen want to left alone to destroy the militarily weaker country, threatening using the N bomb if others help. Will they do it? Or are their threats empty bluster? This posturing reveals weakness and desperation. But they must know that if they DO, the entire region will likely be destroyed.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Exactly Carsten. They cry foul when the rules don’t suit them and threaten nuclear war. They want carte blanche to murder, maim and destroy on a massive scale as their sick/evil minds allow, but the minute the victims stand up and fight for their survival and human rights, they are classified as nazis and Western puppets. The biggest nazi is sitting right there in the Kremlin surrounded by equally diabolical henchmen.

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