Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev has issued ultra-provocative words claiming that it's not fundamentally Ukraine that Russia is at war with, but that the Russian military is facing all of NATO inside Ukraine.
"The events in Ukraine aren’t a clash between Moscow and Kiev. It’s a military confrontation of NATO, first of all the US and Britain, with Russia. Fearing a direct engagement, NATO instructors push Ukrainian men to certain death," he said in a fresh interview with state-owned newspaper aif.ru.
Patrushev continued by describing Russia's military as geared toward seeking to "free its regions from occupation and must put an end to the West’s bloody experiment to destroy the fraternal people of Ukraine."
"We are not at war with Ukraine because we can’t have hatred for ordinary Ukrainians by default," he stressed. He then presented Russian and Ukrainian heritage and closely bound up together, according to state media:
"Get this: the Ukrainian language is one of the official languages in Crimea. Ukrainian cultural centers, Ukrainian folk song and dance groups continue to exist in many cities. A considerable number of people in the south of the Far East regard Ukrainian culture as their own, given a large proportion of migrants from the times of Stolypin," he said, referring to Pyotr Stolypin, a prime minister of the Russian Empire in the early 1900s, who oversaw a resettlement policy.
"The sooner the people of Ukraine realize that the West is using them to wage a war on Russia, the more lives will be saved," Patrushev added. "Many have realized that long ago, but they are afraid to say that publicly out of fear of reprisals. It’s not a part of the West’s plans to save someone’s life to the detriment of its enrichment and other ambitions. Even so, the Americans, the British and other Europeans often create an illusion that they protect civilization from barbarians."
He then referenced the ongoing Western backed attempts of Kiev to make Russian language and culture illegal, which directly impacts millions in the region: "all this story with Ukraine was engineered by Washington to rehearse the technologies of dividing a people that’s one and sow discord," he said.
Meanwhile, there's a growing move among leading NATO countries to begin transferring Western tanks and troop carriers to the Ukrainian battlefield. Starting last week, France began leading the way, resulting in a fierce response from the Kremlin...
French President Emmanuel Macron, by agreeing to send AMX-10 RC wheeled tanks to Ukraine, has crossed a red line and broke a military taboo, becoming the first Western leader to make the step, the Daily Telegraph reported:https://t.co/0fSr32AjrR pic.twitter.com/6lFh1xsMa3— TASS (@tassagency_en) January 7, 2023
But following this warning that a "red line" has been crossed, the Biden administration approved sending Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and now Britain is the next to be mulling tanks for Ukrainian forces, as Sky News reports Monday:
The UK is considering supplying Ukraine with British tanks for the first time to fight Russia's invading forces, Sky News understands.
Discussions have been taking place "for a few weeks" about delivering a number of the British Army's Challenger 2 main battle tank to the Ukrainian armed forces, a Western source with knowledge of the conversations said.
A Ukrainian official was cited in the report as saying that the UK sending tanks would in turn "encourage others to give tanks." President Zelensky during his December in-person address to US Congress mentioned that his country is in dire need of tanks, and he's specifically multiple times asked Washington for M1 Abrams tanks.
The US has still remained reluctant, however, largely on fears that to much heavy weaponry too fast would lead to direct NATO-Russia confrontation, ostensibly at least.
⚡️Possible use of FAB-500 in Bakhmut. pic.twitter.com/vfv2JvrFeD— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) January 9, 2023
But based on the words of Russian Security Council Secretary Patrushev, it seems Russia increasingly sees military confrontation with NATO as already happening. After all, the massive loss of Russian troops in the Makiivka barracks attack was reportedly accomplished with US-supplied HIMARS missile systems.