Moscow will target new targets if Ukraine is provided with long-range missiles

On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow would hit new targets if the West provided Ukraine with long-range missiles, considering that the current arms shipments are aimed at “prolonging the conflict.”

If long-range missiles are delivered to Ukraine, “we will draw the appropriate conclusions and use our weapons (…) to strike at sites that we have not yet targeted,” Mr. Putin, according to excerpts from an interview published Sunday evening on the Russian 1 TV channel.

He did not specify the scope through which Moscow would respond or specify the targets that could be targeted.

These statements come a few days after the United States announced its decision to deliver to Ukraine multiple missile launchers, the Hemar (High Mobility Artillery Missile System) with a range of about 80 km.

Military experts note that this range is slightly larger than that of similar Russian systems, which will allow Kyiv’s forces to strike enemy artillery while remaining out of reach.

But US President Joe Biden said on Monday he had ruled out delivering long-range missile launch systems to Ukraine that could reach Russia, despite Kyiv’s repeated requests for such weapons.

Putin said there was “nothing new” in the US weapons supplied to Kyiv so far, adding that Ukrainian forces already had “similar Soviet or Russian systems, such as Grads, Smerches or Ouragans.”

Putin added that the range of the projectiles “does not depend on the system itself, but on the missiles used.” “What we hear and understand today is that these are missiles (of the US Hemar missiles) with a range of 45-70 kilometers,” he added.

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Mr. Putin considered that Western arms shipments to Ukraine “had only one goal: to prolong the armed conflict as long as possible”.

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