Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, raised the prospects of a ‘Third World War,’ claiming that any conflict with the West would spiral into a nuclear exchange.
In tandem with Russia’s continued posturing of its nuclear force, the rhetoric is part of the growing Russian effort to attempt to discredit NATO aid to Ukraine, denouncing materiel support as funding a proxy war against Russia.
Russia’s recent fearmongering has been relatively ineffective; despite threats to introduce nuclear weapons into the Baltic Sea (which already has a nuclear region, Kaliningrad, alongside various nuclear violations of Swedish airspace), Sweden and Finland are on track to apply for NATO membership. Allied materiel support has increased, and a recent meeting between senior U.S. officials and President Zelenskyy was hailed by the latter as groundbreaking and effective.
Russia has begun several advances as part of its Donbas offensive, supported by large armored divisions, towards Kryvyi Rih and Zaporizhzhia. Both towns faced some shelling, and it seems Russia has pushed for more control of Kherson, storming the city’s council.
Additionally, what appears to be a false-flag operation was conducted in Transnistria, where an explosive was launched at the separatist state security building in Tiraspol. More details are emerging from the attack, but Ukrainian intelligence believes it was done in an attempt to pressure Transnistria to open a new front against Ukraine.
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