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Russia warns of “Third World War” after learning of Ukraine’s plan for a ceasefire

The Ukrainian government has called on Western powers to provide the country with security guarantees, but Moscow has rejected the proposals out of hand.

Ukrainian service members prepare to transport a Russian tank captured during a counteroffensive operation, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released September 11, 2022. Press service of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. DO NOT OBSCURE LOGO.

After nearly seven months of conflict, Russia is currently experiencing the greatest losses it has suffered to date in the war in Ukraine. In the past week a Ukrainian counteroffensive has recaptured a significant section of land and reportedly had catastrophic effects on morale amongst the Russian troops.

Ukrainian forces are regaining ground in the south and east of the country but there are concerns that a major response from Moscow could bring about a more brutal stage of the war

With this prospect in mind, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his government have put forward a raft of security guarantees designed to ensure future support from the West. The document ostensibly aims to fortify Ukraine’s defensive capabilities against further attacks but the proposals presented by Zelenskyy go further, referencing more military support and additional sanctions on Russia.

The announcement was made by Andriy Yermak, Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, and former Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

“We need a military force strong enough to cause irreparable harm to the aggressor. Security guarantees are intended to help us create such power,” Yermak said.

Russia hits back against Ukrainian security proposals

Predictably, the package put forward by Kyiv has not gone down well in Moscow. The planned invasion of Ukraine has been far more laborious than President Putin and his officials would have hoped and their forces have suffered severe losses in recent weeks. However Russia still sees itself as the preeminent force in Eastern Europe and has reacted strongly to the suggestion of any checks on that power.

“The Kyiv camarilla gave birth to a project of ‘security guarantees’ which are a prologue to the third world war”, said Dmitry Medvedev, the vice president of the Russian Security Council, writing on Telegram after the proposals were released.

He said: “If these idiots continue to pump the Kyiv regime without brakes with these types of weapons, sooner or later the military campaign will go to another level.”

“Everything will flare up around them. Their people will seize grief to the fullest. Their earth will literally burn, and concrete will melt. We will also get a lot. It will be very bad for everyone,” Medvedev added.

It is not yet clear how Western powers, who have remained united in their support of Ukraine so far, will respond to Zelenskyy’s plan. The threat of Ukraine joining NATO was seen as one of the key motivators for the invasion back in February, and the West will have to think extremely carefully before approving any proposals that could be seen as a precursor to that step.


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