Putin threatens Ukraine’s ‘statehood’, says no-fly zone would be interpreted as an act of war – POLITICO

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday criticized the Ukrainian resistance and sought to blame the Kiev government for its war of aggression against Ukraine.

“If they continue to do what they are doing, they are calling into question the future of the Ukrainian state,” he said. “And if that happens, it will be entirely on their conscience.”

He also warned that setting up a no-fly zone over Ukraine – a move Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has implored the West to take – would be seen as a declaration of war on the Russia by the Kremlin.

“Any movement in this direction will be considered by us as participation in the armed conflict,” he said. “At the very second, we will consider them as participants… and it doesn’t matter what members they are. This risk is precisely why NATO has adamantly opposed the establishment of a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

Zelensky early Sunday tweeted that he spoke to US President Joe Biden about “security issues, financial support for Ukraine and the pursuit of sanctions against Russia”.

The Financial Times reported on Sunday that the United States and Poland were arranging to supply Kiev with Russian-made jets from the Warsaw fleet, which Ukrainian pilots know how to fly, which would in turn be replaced by American-made F-16s by Washington.

In a rallying cry video address on Saturday, Zelenskyy called on his army and citizens to mount a counterattack against the invading Russian forces.

“You have to go out and drive this evil out of our cities,” he said.


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