Russia’s war on Ukraine may take on “a new dimension,” Moscow’s ambassador to the United Kingdom ominously warned over the weekend.
Ambassador Andrei Kelin told the BBC on Saturday that it is “idealistic” to think Ukraine will win the conflict, which has yet to reveal Russia’s true strength.
“It is a big idealistic mistake to think that Ukraine will prevail. Russia is 16 times bigger than Ukraine,” Kelin said. “We have enormous resources, and we haven’t just started yet to act very seriously.”
When asked how long the conflict could last, Kelin said, “It depends on the escalation of the war that is taking place.
“Sooner or later, this escalation might have a new dimension that we do not need and we do not want. We can make peace tomorrow,” he said.
Kelin’s comments came as one of Ukraine’s top security officials, Oleskiy Danilov, told the outlet his country is ready to launch its highly anticipated counter-offensive against Russia.
The ambassador’s claims also clashed with multiple reports that Russia’s Wagner mercenary group has lost about 20,000 fighters on the front lines in Bakhmut, as the Kremlin’s regular troops are ill-equipped and have retreated during one of the war’s fiercest battles.
Meanwhile, as Kyiv prepared to celebrate the anniversary of its founding Sunday, Russia unleashed waves of air strikes on the Ukrainian capital overnight.
Ukraine’s Air Force said it downed 52 of the 54 Russia-launched drones during what Ukrainian officials called a record attack by the Russians with the Iranian-made “kamikaze” devices.
It was the 14th assault on Kyiv this month, during which falling debris killed a 41-year-old man, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.
The Sunday attacks came after Kyiv said combat clashes eased around the key city of Bakhmut, the site of the war’s longest and most fierce battle.
Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv’s military administration, said the attack was carried out in several waves and that air alerts lasted more than five hours.
“Today, the enemy decided to ‘congratulate’ the people of Kyiv on Kyiv Day with the help of their deadly UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles],” Popko said on the Telegram messaging channel.
Several parts of Kyiv, which has a population of about 3 million, suffered from the overnight attacks, including the historical Pecherskyi neighborhood.
With Post wires
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