America has crossed “every red line” and has effectively “gone to war” against Russia, a state propaganda broadcaster has claimed.
Igor Korotchenko, who regularly appears as a “foreign policy expert” on Russian propaganda TV shows, was hitting back at a statement from US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.
Ms Nuland had said Washington supported Ukraine’s bid to reclaim Crimea – a territory that was annexed by Putin in 2014. She said on Thursday(February 16): "Ukraine is not going to be safe unless Crimea is at a minimum, at a minimum, demilitarised."
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Any attack on Crimea would cross one of Russian leader Vladimir Putin's "red lines" – triggering a major escalation of the war which began on February 24 last year.
Korotchenko said that by calling for moves against Crimea, Ms Nuland had effectively declared war on Russia.
"After the U.S. crossed every imaginable and unimaginable red line,” he said, “today the US State Department actually announced that it was going to war with Russia.
In a translation provided by Kremlin monitoring service TheKremlinYap, Korotchenko said: ”I assume that this is how we should interpret Nuland's statement. There is no need for half tones. The US. is an enemy of Russia, a military adversary.”
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He added: "If it expects massive missile strikes on Russian territory to be carried out with their help, but as if by someone else's hands, then perhaps we can regard this as a [reason to declare war] and react accordingly."
Korotchenko said he hoped to see Russian officials give "adequate, conceptual, doctrinal, and military responses to this audacious statement of the United States, and appropriate measures should be taken.
“What kind of measures?” He added, “We shall see…”
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The Moscow-backed Crimean administration has already claimed that Ukrainian drones attempted strikes close to the region’s largest city, Sevastopol.
Mikhail Razvozhayev, the city’s Russian-appointed governor, wrote on his Telegram channel Friday (February 17) that a Ukrainian drone had been shot down over a thermal power plant in nearby Balaklava.
His claim came a day after a similar report that Russian air defences had downed two drones over Sevastopol.
Razvozhayev said last month that 10 Ukrainian drone shad been shot down over Sevastopol in what he described as a "failed Ukrainian attack.”
Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for any of the alleged drone attacks.
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