Ukraine Threatens Kremlin: Retreat Or Be Annihilated – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense warned Russian forces to leave Kherson, the southern region of Ukraine captured by the Russians in March, or face annihilation. The threat comes after a Ukrainian official predicted that the territory would be recaptured by September.
Writing on Twitter, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry announced “successful missile strikes on bridges over the Dnipro River” by the Ukrainian military, and said that it now poses an “impossible dilemma for Russian occupiers” in the Kherson region.
“Retreat or be annihilated by #UAarmy. The choice is theirs,” the tweet continues.
The Kremlin, however, is not backing down.
This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened fresh strikes in Ukraine at targets his military has not yet focused on. Putin said his military would “strike at those targets that we have not yet been hitting” if Western countries continue to supply Ukraine with weapons and ammunition.
Putin did not specify the kind of weapons he was talking about, nor did he specify what new target he may be considering – however, it’s likely that the Russian leader was talking about long-range artillery systems like the U.S.-supplied HIMARS.
It’s also possible that Putin was threatening to return to central Ukraine and the country’s capital, Kyiv. For the last several months, Russian forces have focused most of their efforts on Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.
After capturing Luhansk Oblast, however, Russian forces now appear to be fortifying their defenses on the borders of Luhansk, advancing further into Donetsk Oblast, and widening the scope of their attack.
More HIMARS On Their Way
The United States Department of Defense announced a new security assistance package for Ukraine this week, which possibly prompted the Russian president’s latest threat.
In a statement, the Defense Department revealed $175 million in military equipment to be sent to Ukraine, including 16 additional HIMARS systems, four new command post vehicles, more anti-armor weapons, and spare parts to fix existing weaponry and vehicles in Ukraine’s possession. An additional 36,000 rounds of 105mm ammunition are also on their way to Ukraine.
“This is ammunition that is actually going to support a donation that the United Kingdom is making of Howitzers, and this is something that we do quite frequently where we match countries that maybe have one part of a capability with another donor country to create a complete capability for the Ukrainians,” a senior defense official said this week.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.