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Russia threatens to strike against Britain over its support for Ukraine
27 April 2022, 06:21 | Updated: 27 April 2022, 06:25
Russia has threatened to strike British targets in Nato territory because it is supplying weapons to Ukraine and supporting its raids against Putin's army.
Moscow's defence ministry said any backing from London for Ukrainian attacks on Russian soil would invite a "proportional response".
Maria Zakharova, who speaks for the Russian foreign ministry, asked if "we understand" Moscow can attack Nato countries who support Kyiv on their own territory.
The threats follows a series of apparent Ukrainian sabotage operations against targets throughout Russia, seeking to hamper the calamitous - but extremely bloody - attack on their country.
Ms Zakharova, one of the most outspoken and prominent voices during the invasion, said: "Do we understand correctly that for the sake of disrupting the logistics of military supplies, Russia can strike military targets on the territory of those Nato countries that supply arms to the Kyiv regime?
"After all, this directly leads to deaths and bloodshed on Ukrainian territory. As far as I understand, Britain is one of those countries."
The UK has backed Ukraine by supplying weapons including Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles and NLAWs, the anti-tank weapon used to devastating effect by Kyiv's soldiers, with which the system has proved very popular.
And the Russian defence ministry said of raids on its soil: "We would like to underline that London's direct provocation of the Kyiv regime into such actions, if such actions are carried out, will immediately lead to our proportional response.
"As we have warned, the Russian armed forces are in round-the-clock readiness to launch retaliatory strikes with high-precision long-range weapons at decision-making centres in Kyiv."
Those comments followed the UK's decision to reopen its embassy in Kyiv, the capital, after withdrawing it before the war.
Ukraine has been accused by Moscow of carrying out attacks on Russia within its borders.
It has claimed Kyiv was behind drone attacks on oil facilities in Bryansk, almost 100 miles from the two countries' border.
Russia also made claims over mortar attacks in the Bryansk and Belgorod regions.
Most prominently, Ukraine was also accused of launching air strikes against an oil depot in Belgorod using two helicopters.
James Heappey, the armed forces minister, told LBC on Tuesday that he believed Ukrainian attacks on Russia were fair game in war.
"Of course we would expect that Russia would take all appropriate caution to avoid civilian casualties, but it is very much an act of war to go after one another's supply lines," he told Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.
"Just as I have no complaint whatsoever about the fact that the Ukrainians appear to be launching strikes into Russia to go after their logistics lines. It's very much a part of war."
Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said he viewed Russia and Nato as being engaged in a proxy war "in essence", accusing the military alliance of "pouring oil on the fire".
The danger of a third world war is "serious, real", Lavrov said, while insisting that - despite recent Moscow's posturing over its nuclear capabilities - Russia wanted to avoid any conflict with atomic weapons.
Russia's energy firm Gazprom has now said it will cut off Poland and Bulgaria, both Nato countries, because they have refused to pay for gas in roubles.
Putin demanded they do this after tough Western sanctions were imposed over the invasion.
Poland has insisted it will be able to deal with being cut off.