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Putin Threatens To Attack Western Air Bases Hosting Ukrainian F-16s

• https://www.zerohedge.com, by Tyler Durden

In an address to the pilots, Putin referenced accusations frequently voiced by Western leaders that he intends to expand the war in Ukraine by attacking NATO and other European countries. He called the claim "utter nonsense" but went on to issue a warning about US-made F16 fighters jets.

Describing that US "satellites" in Eastern Europe (for example, Poland) have no reason to be afraid, he said, "The claims that we are going to attack Europe after Ukraine – it is utter nonsense and intimidation of their own population just to beat the money out of them."

European countries have indeed been seeking to ramp up their defense sectors and spending, especially following two years of arming Ukraine which has largely depleted domestic stockpiles.

A translation in Politico quoted Putin as further saying "...the possibility of an attack on some other countries, on Poland, the Baltic states, the Czechs are scared. It's just nonsense," and that Russia has "no aggressive intentions toward these states."

The Russian president further reiterated in the talk that the special military operation in Ukraine was launched out of the necessity of "protecting our people on our historical territories." Referring to the NATO alliance, he said: "They came right up to our borders… Did we go across the ocean to the borders of the United States? No, they are approaching us, and they have come very close," according to a Russian media translation.

Putin also took the opportunity to address international reports that Kiev will soon be given its first batch of F-16 fighter jets. According to his words as summarized in EuroNews:

At the same meeting, he warned Ukraine's Western allies against providing air bases in their countries from where the F-16s could launch sorties against the Kremlin's forces, saying those bases would be a "legitimate target."


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