Russia warns of "consequences" if U.S. sends Patriot missiles to Ukraine
Russia on Thursday warned of "consequences" if the U.S. sends the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine, AP reports.
The big picture: Ukraine has pressed the U.S. and its allies to deliver more advanced weapons to counter Russian missiles, which have destroyed much of the country's critical infrastructure, including its energy facilities.
- U.S. media reported this week that Washington was expected to soon announce plans to send the Patriot missile battery to Ukraine. If the reported plans go ahead, it would be the most advanced weaponry sent to Ukraine since the war began.
What they're saying: Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a weekly briefing that the U.S. had "effectively become a party" to the war in Ukraine, per AP.
- Ramping up U.S. military assistance, including the transfer of these weapons, "would mean even broader involvement of military personnel in the hostilities and could entail possible consequences," she added, without going into details.
What to watch: UN human rights chief Volker Türk warned on Thursday that further strikes on Ukraine's infrastructure could "lead to a further serious deterioration in the humanitarian situation and spark more displacement."
- He said more than "10 million consumers -- including families, businesses, hospitals, and schools -- are facing cuts in electricity, and millions are cut off from a regular supply of water and heat."