Russia warns US military shipments to Ukraine are ‘legitimate targets’, prompting fears other countries could get sucked into conflict as Kyiv prepares to become ‘Putin’s Stalingrad’ and condemns NATO’s lack of bravery

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  • Sergei Ryabkov warned the West that ‘pumping weapons’ into Ukraine could lead to an escalation of conflict 
  • Ex-deputy Secretary General of NATO Rose Gottemoeller is ‘sceptical’ of Russian success in a Kyiv battle
  • A huge column of tanks is slowly moving towards the capital after it was stalled for days on the outskirts
  • Fighting is continuing nearby with Putin’s forces encircling the city in preparation for an expected assault 

Russia has made dire threats to the West that any military shipments to Ukraine will be seen as ‘legitimate targets’, prompting fears there could be an escalation of conflict that could suck in other countries. 

Deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov warned the US ‘that pumping weapons from a number of countries it orchestrates isn’t just a dangerous move, it’s an action that makes those convoys legitimate targets’.

The warnings came after Joe Biden personally intervened to stop a shipment Polish MiG fighter jets to Kyiv, fearing it could lead to ‘World War Three’.

But Volodymyr Zelensky has condemned the West for its inaction, today saying he ‘doesn’t see any bravery from NATO’ and pleaded for more involvement from allies in peace negotiations as he pleaded for more anti-missile systems, saying he is willing to pay.

The wartime leader also said Putin’s forces can only take Kyiv if they raze the city to the ground, with Kremlin troops inching closer to the capital for an anticipated assault.   

Russian armoured vehicles are still slowly advancing on the city’s northeast after being stalled for days, and a military airfield south of the city in Vasylkiv has been hit by missiles, destroying the runway, a fuel depot and an ammunition store.

The bulk of Russian ground forces are now around 15 miles from the centre but elements of the large column have dispersed in a bid to encircle the city, after pummelling the northwest suburbs including Irpin and Bucha. 

A column of thick black smoke was seen rising from the eastern suburbs of Kyiv this morning, but there is still no sign of ground forces moving into the outskirts. 

But a former NATO official said she is ‘sceptical’ that Russian forces will ‘gain much success’ from an expected brutal onslaught of Kyiv, as Ukrainians warned Putin to prepare for his own Stalingrad battle. 

Former deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller says she believes current tactics betray a sign of weakness from Putin’s forces, saying she is ‘sceptical’ of any success in the capital. 

She slammed their poor logistics saying she does not believe they have enough fuel supply for battle in the city which has faced constant shelling but is still bracing for an all-out assault.

Three Russian generals out of 20 have been killed so far in Putin’s botched invasion, which has also seen the loss of 173 tanks, 12 aircraft and 345 troop carriers.  

By Jack Newman

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