Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of the Russian National Security Council, confirmed that any attack by a NATO member state on the Crimea would be considered a declaration of war, and could lead to the outbreak of a third world war, while the Turkish company “Baykar” announced that it would give the Ukrainian army 3 of its Bayraktar drones. TB2 so that he can defend his homeland.
Medvedev added in statements to a Russian news website that the Crimea is part of Russia and will remain so forever, noting that in the event Finland and Sweden join NATO, Russia will be ready for retaliatory steps that may include the deployment of hypersonic Iskander missiles on the doorsteps of those countries, as he put it.
For his part, a senior official in the US administration said that the United States intends to impose new sanctions on Russia targeting defense supply chains, and will impose today, Tuesday, sanctions on Russian military companies and nearly 500 officials who threaten Ukraine’s sovereignty and suppress the Russian opposition, as he put it.
The US official confirmed that the new sanctions will include Russian defense research bodies and dozens of defense individuals and entities, including major Russian state defense companies.
He explained that the aim of the new sanctions is to undermine Russia’s ability to compensate for military equipment it lost during the war on Ukraine.
In a related context, the US official stressed that the G7 countries will impose sanctions on those responsible for human rights violations in Ukraine.
Targeting a mall
In a parallel context, the UN Security Council decided to hold a session today, Tuesday, to discuss the Russian missile strike that targeted the commercial center in central Ukraine.
Anton Gerashenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Minister, announced that the number of people killed in the Russian missile attack in the city of Kremenchuk in the Poltava region of eastern Ukraine rose to 16 people and about 60 wounded.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that more than a thousand people were in the place, and it is very difficult to determine the number of victims, as he put it.
Zelensky added that Russia continues to target vital facilities and civilians to justify its inability to achieve its goals.
Several countries have condemned the attack, with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken saying in a tweet that the world is terrified, and that the Russian strike is the latest in a series of atrocities, as he put it.
Blinken announced that Washington will continue to support its Ukrainian partners, and that Russia and its officials must be held accountable for these atrocities, he said.
Russia’s attack on civilians at a shopping mall is cruel. We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
As demonstrated at the G7 Summit, the U.S. along with our allies and partners will continue to hold Russia accountable for such atrocities and support Ukraine’s defense.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 27, 2022
In turn, the French Foreign Ministry condemned the Russian missile strike, and said that Russia continues what it called “horrific violations of international humanitarian law” through the indiscriminate bombing of civilians and civilian infrastructure, and demanded that it be held accountable for its actions.
And US President Joe Biden tweeted, describing the Russian attack on civilians in a shopping center in Ukraine as brutal, and held Moscow responsible for such atrocities, as he put it.
In Moscow, the Kremlin said there was no basis to describe Russia’s foreign-currency sovereign debt position as a default.
The Russian denial came in response to what was reported by the US agency “Bloomberg”, which said that Moscow had defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time in more than a century.
This is a bleak sign of Russia’s rapid transformation into an economically, financially and politically isolated country, the agency said.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov also stressed that Moscow has the financial resources to repay its debts, but Western sanctions prevent this.
Moscow had objected to its classification as a country unable to pay, stressing that it had the necessary funds to cover any financial obligations.
For its part, the Turkish company “Baykar” for the manufacture of unmanned aircraft announced that it will donate 3 of its aircraft to the Ukrainian army.
In a statement published Monday on Twitter, the company indicated that a crowdfunding campaign had managed to raise enough money to purchase a number of its TB2 drones, to be used by Ukrainians “to defend their homeland.”
The statement added that “Baykar will not accept payment for the TP2 planes, and will send, without charge, 3 drones to the front of the Ukrainian war.”
The company asked “to transfer the collected funds instead to the struggling people of Ukraine.”
Ukraine had indicated that the Turkish drones it had at the beginning of the war did well against the Russian forces.
This announcement comes at a time when Turkey, a NATO member, is impeding the accession of Finland and Sweden because they provide – according to Ankara – a safe haven for entities it classifies as terrorist.
While Turkey condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it also tried to mediate between the two sides and did not join the sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union on Moscow.
At the beginning of June, Baykar offered Lithuania a combat drone, free of charge, in exchange for the funds raised by the Lithuanians to purchase the aircraft for the benefit of the Ukrainian forces for humanitarian aid.
Ukraine had announced that it had about 20 “TP2” drones at the beginning of the war.
For his part, the chairman of the British House of Commons Defense Committee, Tobias Ellwood, said that if Putin was allowed to continue the war on Ukraine, it would tempt him to exercise his plans elsewhere in Europe in the future.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Ellwood added that negotiating with Putin means more challenges for Europe in the coming years.
He pointed out that countries are not doing enough to make Russia lose the war it declared on Ukraine, considering that the G7 summit is important to emphasize unity among countries to confront the Russian aggression on Ukraine, as he put it.