Russia has warned of an uncontrolled escalation in case of greater Western involvement in Ukraine.

Iran PressEurope: Russia will respond to the West’s growing involvement in the Ukraine conflict, although direct conflict with NATO is not in Moscow’s interests, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday after Washington pledged more military aid for Kyiv.

Ukraine on Monday said it needed to strengthen its air defense following Russia’s biggest aerial assaults on cities since the beginning of the war, retaliation for what Moscow called a Ukrainian attack on a strategic bridge in Crimea.

US President Joe Biden promised to provide advanced air defense systems, and the Pentagon said on Sept. 27 that it would start delivering the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System over the next two months or so.

Biden and Group of Seven leaders will hold a virtual meeting on Tuesday to discuss their commitment to support Ukraine, the White House said.

“We warn and hope that they realise the danger of uncontrolled escalation in Washington and other Western capitals,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by RIA news agency on Tuesday.

Russian missiles hit targets across Ukraine early on Monday, killing 19 people and wounding 105, emergency services officials said. 

The barrage of dozens of cruise missiles fired from air, land and sea was the most widespread wave of air strikes to hit away from the front lines, at least since the initial volleys on the war’s first day, Feb. 24.

Ukrainian officials reported more strikes on Tuesday, including one in the southeastern town of Zaporizhzhia which killed at least one person.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he ordered “massive” long-range strikes after accusing Ukraine of an attack on the bridge linking Russia to annexed Crimea on Saturday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy spoke to Biden on Monday and wrote on Telegram that air defense was the “number 1 priority in our defence cooperation.”

Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, said more Western help to Ukraine raised the risk of a wider war.

“Such assistance, as well as providing Kiev with intelligence, instructors and combat guidelines, leads to further escalation and increased the risks of a clash between Russia and NATO,” Antonov told media.

Faced with blackouts, Ukraine halted electricity exports to neighboring Moldova and the European Union, at a time when the continent already faces surging power prices that have stoked inflation and hampered industrial activity.


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