Russia’s top diplomat said the West was engaged in a proxy war with his country that could escalate into a world war with nuclear weapons, as Western nations elevated their commitment to defending Ukraine.
“The risk is serious, real. It should not be underestimated,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a Russian state-television interview broadcast Monday night. “NATO is, in essence, going to war with Russia through a proxy and arming that proxy.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Lavrov’s comments were aimed at scaring countries off supporting Ukraine. “This only means Moscow senses defeat in Ukraine,” he wrote on Twitter. “Therefore, the world must double down on supporting Ukraine so that we prevail and safeguard European and global security.”
Russia’s attempt to oust Ukraine’s elected government through a rapid military invasion at the end of February failed, and Moscow is now focusing on trying to seize territory in Ukraine’s east with the help of mass artillery and aerial bombardments.