Russia vows to ‘totally protect’ any annexed territories amid growing nuclear threat


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that if the region of Ukraine where the referendum is being held is annexed by Russia, it will be under the “full protection” of the Kremlin, increasing the likelihood of its use of nuclear weapons.

For four days, residents of four Russian-occupied territories in eastern and southern Ukraine voted to join Russia.

“Following these referendums, Russia will, of course, respect the voices of those who have suffered years of abuse from the neo-Nazi regime,” Lavrov said. Said Reporters this weekend after addressing the United Nations General Assembly. He was referring to the Kyiv government.

When asked by reporters whether Russia might use nuclear weapons to defend its annexed territories in Ukraine, Lavrov said that Russian territory “is under the full protection of the state.”

“All laws, doctrines, concepts and strategies of the Russian Federation apply throughout its territory,” he said, referring to Russia’s doctrine on nuclear use.

A few days ago, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned on social media that Russia was ready to use nuclear weapons. This came after a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of troops, but also about defending territorial integrity using all the weapons in Russia’s arsenal. He made veiled threats.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a meeting on August 4, 2022. (Handout from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Reuters)

Putin’s comments were vague, but Medvedev’s Telegram post was more explicit. Medvedev is currently the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council.

“Russia has announced that not only its mobilization capabilities, but all Russian weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons and weapons based on new principles, can be used for such protection,” he said. I have writtenaccording to the translation.

A referendum in four regions of eastern Ukraine aimed at annexing territories that Russia has armedly occupied since its February invasion was staged on Sunday for a third day, with the Russian parliament set to annex within days. may move to formalize the

By annexing the four regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia into Russia, Moscow portrays the offensive to recapture them as an attack on Russia itself and a warning to Kyiv and its Western allies. I was able to

Following its recent battlefield defeats, Ukraine and its allies dismissed the referendum as a hoax to justify escalating war and a mobilization drive by Moscow.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that Ukraine would regain all the territories it had seized. “From Kherson to the Luhansk region, from Crimea to the Donetsk region, we will definitely liberate the whole country,” he said on Telegram’s messaging app.

nuclear threat

That’s because Admiral Charles A. Richard, commander of the US Strategic Command, acknowledged Russia’s recent warnings about the use of nuclear weapons.

“We haven’t had to do that for over 30 years. The impact is severe,” he said. Said At a panel discussion last week, he said, “They are profound to homeland security. They are important not only for strategic deterrence, but also for us to achieve our national objectives. And this is no longer theoretical. ‘ he added.

For the first time in decades, Richard added, the United States could “could enter into direct armed conflict with a nuclear power”.

“Russia and China can escalate to any level of violence they choose in any domain, using any means of power in the world,” Richard added.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips


Jack Phillips is a New York-based breaking news reporter for the Epoch Times.