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Putin ally hints at Poland as ‘next’ in Ukraine war, raises Nato implications – Times of India

NEW DELHI: A Russian legislator, closely associated with President Vladimir Putin, recently indicated on a TV show that Poland might be Moscow’s next target following its ongoing conflict in Ukraine. This statement comes as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, initiated by Putin in February 2022, approaches its second anniversary with no resolution in sight.Despite setbacks in the Ukrainian “special military operation,” Russian officials continue to suggest potential invasions of other regions, often former Soviet Union territories, including Moldova and the Balkan States, a Newsweek report said.
Poland, while not a former Soviet territory, was part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. This makes it a notable mention in the context of Russia’s expansionist rhetoric. Julia Davis, founder of the Russian Media Monitor, shared a clip from Russian state-run TV featuring Aleksey Zhuravlyov, a member of the State Duma known for his nationalistic views. In the clip, Zhuravlyov questions the West’s response to the potential expansion of the conflict, hinting at Poland’s vulnerability and the readiness of other regions like Sweden and the Balkans for the next stage of war.
Poland’s significant distinction from Ukraine is its membership in Nato since 1999. An attack on Poland would trigger a collective response from Nato members, including major powers like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, as per the alliance’s Article 5.
Recent incidents have heightened tensions in the region. Last month, Poland mobilized troops following the crossing of an unidentified object from Ukraine. This event coincided with a series of missile and drone strikes by Russia, as described by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Additionally, Nato has expressed concerns over the risks posed by stray Russian and Ukrainian munitions, highlighted by incidents like the detonation of a Ukrainian air defense missile in Poland in November 2022 and the discovery of a Russian KH-55 missile in Poland in April 2023.

UK PM Rishi Sunak announces increase in military aid to Ukraine

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made a significant visit to Kyiv amidst the ongoing conflict, where he signed a new security pact and declared an increase in military aid for Ukraine. This funding boost, aimed at purchasing various types of drones including surveillance, long-range strike, and sea drones, marks a substantial escalation in support.
As one of Ukraine’s staunchest allies in the face of President Vladimir Putin’s Russian invasion, the UK has pledged to enhance its support in the upcoming financial year to 2.5 billion pounds ($3.19 billion). This represents a 200 million pound increase compared to the previous two years, as mentioned by Sunak.
Sunak, addressing a press conference, emphasized the global perception challenges, saying, “Our opponents around the world believe that we have neither the patience nor resources for long wars. So waver now, and we embolden not just Putin, but his allies in North Korea, Iran and elsewhere.”
The timing of Sunak’s visit is crucial, coinciding with a pivotal moment in the nearly two-year-old war. Delays in assistance from the United States and European Union, due to political disagreements, have impacted Kyiv’s situation.
Since the Russian invasion in February 2022, Ukraine has been heavily dependent on military and financial support from Western nations.
(With inputs from agencies)

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