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Russia is an ‘existential threat’ to US: General

US Army Gen. Joseph Votel

Head of the US Special Operations Command General Joseph Votel has described Russia as an “existential threat” to the United States, repeating accusations against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

Russian officials are attempting to “create these frozen conflicts and create situations that are very, very difficult to resolve along their border,” he told Fox News. 

That "does, could pose an existential threat," the general added.

Votel also noted that Russia is “looking to challenge us wherever they can,” and "the intent is to create a situation where NATO can't continue to thrive.”

He said he did not have insights into Russian President Vladimir Putin but he believes Putin sees the expansion of NATO “as a threat to him.”

He made the remarks several days after US Army General Mark Milley warned about Russia’s nuclear capability, saying it is the only country on earth that could destroy the United States.

“Russia is the only country on earth that contains a nuclear capability that could destroy the United States,” the general told the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this week.

“It’s an existential threat to the United States, so it has capability. Intent, I don’t know; but the activity of Russia since 2008 has been very, very aggressive,” he added.

The ties between Russia and the United States deteriorated after US-backed forces ousted Ukraine’s elected president Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014.

The US and its allies accuse Moscow of sending troops into eastern Ukraine in support of the pro-Russian forces. Moscow has long denied involvement in Ukraine's crisis.

Moscow says Washington is responsible for the escalating tension in Ukraine through sending arms in support of the Ukrainian army.


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