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Russia: West’s flow of arms to Ukraine impedes ‘quick’ end to war

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Moscow has denounced the West for preventing a “quick” end to Russia’s military operation in neighboring Ukraine by providing Kiev with weapons.

The US and its European allies are backing Ukraine with cash and increasingly heavy and sophisticated weaponry and waves of unprecedented sanctions on Moscow.

“Our military is well aware that the United States, Britain and NATO as a whole are constantly transmitting intelligence and other parameters to the Ukrainian armed forces,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

He made the remarks when asked about a New York Times report a day earlier that US intelligence helped Ukraine kill a number of Russian generals.

“Coupled with the flow of weapons that these countries are sending to Ukraine, these are all actions that do not contribute to the quick completion of the operation,” Peskov said.

Peskov stressed that the West's indirect involvement in the war is “incapable of hindering the achievement” of the goals of Russia's military operation.

Asked what measures Moscow might take in response, he said: “Of course, the Russian military is doing whatever is necessary in this situation.”

Since the onset of the offensive, more than five million people have fled Ukraine, and thousands have been killed. Russia is now pushing for complete control of the Donbas region, where pro-Russia forces held parts of breakaway Luhansk and Donetsk provinces even before the military offensive.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Peskov said that humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant were functioning, after the Russian army declared a three-day ceasefire at the site to allow a civilian evacuation from the flashpoint industrial area.

“The corridors are functioning today,” he said, adding that the steelworks remained blockaded by Russian forces.

The ill-fated city, in southeastern Ukraine, has been the scene of some of the heaviest fighting between the two sides. Last month, Moscow said that it had managed to fully seize the city except for Azovstal, a giant fortress-like steel plant.

It is estimated by Moscow that some 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers and fighters are holed up inside the steel plant. Hundreds of civilians are also reportedly sheltering with Ukrainian troops at the complex.

Those who are still inside Azovstal’s underground bunkers are believed to be running out of water, food, and medicine.

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