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Russian defense minister warns of potential ‘nuclear collision’ with the West over Ukraine

Harsh Russian warning comes after UK announces it will supply Ukraine with tank ammunition

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu delivers a speech during a meeting of the Defence Ministry Board in Moscow, in this handout picture released March 22, 2023. (Photo: Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via REUTERS)

Tense relations between Russia and the West deteriorated even further on Tuesday when Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted Great Britain for its plan to send tank ammunition containing depleted uranium as aid to the Ukrainian army. 

“If all this happens, Russia will have to respond accordingly, given that the West collectively is already beginning to use weapons with a nuclear component," warned the Russian president following a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow. 

While Putin did not elaborate on a specific Russian response, his close political ally, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, explicitly warned of a potential “nuclear collision” between Russia and the West over the conflict in Ukraine. 

“Another step has been taken, and there are fewer and fewer left,” warned Shoigu in a barely veiled threat to the Western nations. 

The harsh Russian warning comes after British Minister of State for Defence Annabel Goldie announced that London would supply Ukraine with “armor-piercing rounds which contain depleted uranium,” along with its gift of 14 Challenger 2 tanks, as these rounds are considered “highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles.”

As the protracted war in Ukraine gradually depletes Russia’s conventional military capabilities, Russia has been warning the West increasingly of a potential nuclear war. 

In January, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a close Putin ally and current deputy chair in Russia's powerful security council, warned NATO of a nuclear showdown if Russia loses its conventional war in Ukraine. 

“The defeat of a nuclear power in a conventional war may trigger a nuclear war,” warned Medvedev, adding, “Nuclear powers have never lost major conflicts on which their fate depends.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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