Russia threatened two more European nations on Friday that if they attempt to join NATO they will face “serious military and political repercussions” from Russia. The threat comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine this week.
During a press conference, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, “Finland and Sweden should not base their security on damaging the security of other countries and their accession to NATO can have detrimental consequences and face some military and political consequences.”
Russia just threatened military consequences against Finland and Sweden.
They f***** insane. pic.twitter.com/w4BfHfYYEW
— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) February 25, 2022
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted out a portion of her remarks, writing, “We regard the Finnish government’s commitment to a military non-alignment policy as an important factor in ensuring security and stability in northern Europe.”
The account then added, “Finland’s accession to @NATO would have serious military and political repercussions.”
💬#Zakharova: We regard the Finnish government’s commitment to a military non-alignment policy as an important factor in ensuring security and stability in northern Europe.
☝️Finland’s accession to @NATO would have serious military and political repercussions. pic.twitter.com/eCY5oG23rL
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) February 25, 2022
The initial wave of Russian attacks against Ukraine kicked off during the early morning hours on Thursday and targeted military and government facilities, airfields, and installations along the border and large explosions were seen in videos posted on social media. Ukraine said that Belarus, which is aligned with Putin, assisted Russia in attacking Ukraine. A senior Ukrainian official told The Wall Street Journal that hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers died in the initial volley of attacks.
Fighting intensified on Friday and into the early morning hours on Saturday as large explosions from missile attacks eventually turned into street fighting with Ukraine urging its citizens to take up arms, and Molotov cocktails, to fight the Russians.
“We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities,” Zelensky said in a statement. “We will lift sanctions on all citizens of Ukraine who are ready to defend our country as part of territorial defense with weapons in hands.”
Zelensky has reportedly refused to be evacuated from the capital city of Kyiv as Russian military forces attack the city and surrounding areas.
“The U.S. government is prepared to help Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky leave Kyiv to avoid being captured or killed by advancing Russian forces, according to U.S. and Ukrainian officials,” The Washington Post reported. “But so far, the president has refused to go.”
A senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation that U.S. officials had with Zelensky when he was reportedly asked to evacuate says that Zelensky responded: “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.”
Kira Rudik, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, said on social media on Friday and in media interviews that she was prepared to stay and fight the Russians along with other members of the country’s parliament.
“I learn to use #Kalashnikov and prepare to bear arms,” she wrote on Twitter. “It sounds surreal as just a few days ago it would never come to my mind. Our #women will protect our soil the same way as our #men. Go #Ukraine!”
I learn to use #Kalashnikov and prepare to bear arms. It sounds surreal as just a few days ago it would never come to my mind. Our #women will protect our soil the same way as our #men. Go #Ukraine! 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/UbF4JRGlcy
— Kira Rudik (@kiraincongress) February 25, 2022
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