Shoigu Warns Ukraine Against Striking Crimea with US, British Missiles

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that Moscow had information that Ukraine was planning to strike Russian-controlled Crimea with longer-range US and British missiles and warned Russia would retaliate if that happened.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, but considers it to be outside the scope of what it calls its “special military operation” which is focused in eastern and southern Ukraine where Ukraine is fighting to retake territory.

Kyiv, which says it is battling for its survival in a war of colonial conquest, says it wants to reclaim all of its territory however, including the Crimean peninsula which hosts Russia’s Black Sea naval base.

Shoigu told a meeting of military officials that Moscow had information that Ukraine planned to strike Crimea with US-supplied HIMARS long-range rocket systems and with British-supplied Storm Shadow cruise missiles.

“The use of these missiles outside the zone of our special military operation would mean that the United States and Britain would be fully dragged into the conflict and would entail immediate strikes on decision-making centers in Ukraine,” said Shoigu.

Ukrainian generals and politicians have said many times they do not announce their military plans ahead of time.

“Thanks to the smart and selfless actions of our units all of them (the attacks) have been repelled, the enemy has not accomplished its goals,” said Shoigu.

Shoigu said Ukraine’s armed forces had carried out 263 attacks on Russian forces’ positions since June 4, referring to what Moscow regards as the start of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

Ukraine says it has recaptured eight villages in the early stages of its counteroffensive and a defense official has promised that Kyiv’s “biggest blow” lay ahead despite tough resistance from Moscow’s troops.

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