Supplying long-range missiles of Western manufacture to Ukraine will result in a strong response from Russian forces, President Vladimir Putin told state broadcaster Rossija 1.
“If they supply, then we will draw the corresponding conclusions from this and deploy our means of destruction, of which we have enough, to deliver blows to those objects that we are not yet attacking,” he said. The West’s aim in supplying arms to Ukraine was to draw out the conflict, Putin said.
The Russian leader appeared relaxed about the delivery of modern HIMARS multiple rocket launchers announced by the United States, saying it would not change the balance of forces fundamentally. “There’s nothing new here,” he said, noting that the Ukrainian army already had similar, Russian-made systems and that US deliveries would just replace systems that had been destroyed.
Precisely which missiles were deployed would be decisive, Putin said. According to his information, missiles with ranges of between 45 and 70 kilometres would be supplied, similar to Russia’s Uragan, Smerch and Grad systems. Ukraine had 515 such systems when the “operation” began and is still thought to have 360, he said.