Putin Hints at Bombing Other ‘Densely Populated’ Nations

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Getty Images

Russia’s Vladimir Putin lashed out Tuesday at European countries that are considering giving permission to Ukraine to use their weapons for strikes on Russian territory.

Speaking in Tashkent during a two-day visit to Uzbekistan, Putin warned of “serious consequences” if Western weapons are allowed in attacks on Russian soil.

“In Europe, especially in small countries, they should realize what they are playing with. They should remember that they are countries with small, densely populated territories... This is a factor they should keep in mind before talking about striking Russia,” he said.

His comments came as more and more European leaders expressed support for Ukraine taking the war to Russian territory at a meeting of defense ministers on Tuesday.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said it is “perfectly possible” for Ukraine to strike targets inside Russia and there is “no contradiction” with the laws of war. “You have to balance the risk of escalation and the need for Ukrainians to defend,” he said, according to Agence France-Presse. Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said the Netherlands would not stop Ukraine from attacking targets on Russian territory, and that she hoped “other countries that have different positions will change that.”

Hanno Pevkur, the defense minister of Estonia, said, “It cannot be normal that Russia is attacking from very deep into Ukrainian territory and the Ukrainians are fighting with one hand behind their back.”

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called on NATO officials to reconsider prohibiting Ukraine from using Western-supplied weapons to strike “legitimate targets” outside the country earlier this week. The Biden administration has repeatedly cautioned against Ukraine using American-made weapons to strike inside Russia, though officials are now reportedly debating whether to change that policy.

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