Russian ambassadors chilling warning to NATO with hint at plans for Croatia

Ukraine: Russia has 'pounded it to rubble' says Barrons

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Igor Kalabukhov, the Russian ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, appeared on Bosnian channel Face over the weekend, claiming Russia would respond to the “threat” of Bosnia and Herzegovina joining the NATO alliance. He said: “How do you know that we are not planning anything against Croatia, Hungary or Poland? We have plans against NATO. We estimate the geo-strategic situation, we look at where the threats come from and react.“

His remarks were in response to being asked why he was opposed to Bosnia and Herzegovina joining the defensive alliance, but not countries like Croatia, Hungary or Poland.

Kalabukhov added: “If Bosnia and Herzegovina, decide to be a member of any association, it is an internal affair. But another thing is our reaction.

“With the example of Ukraine, we showed what we expect. If there is a threat, we will react.”

The warning came as Russian troops continue to batter Ukrainian cities and kill civilians.

Ukraine defied a Russian demand that its forces lay down arms before dawn in Mariupol on Monday, March 21.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been trapped in a city under siege and already laid to waste by Russian bombardment.

The assault on Ukraine, now in its fourth week, has stalled along most fronts, failing to seize a single major Ukrainian city much less capture the capital Kyiv or swiftly topple the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

But Russian shelling and missiles have caused massive destruction in built-up residential areas.

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Shelling hit houses and a shopping district in Kyiv’s Podil district late on Sunday, killing at least eight people, according to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, after a relative lull over the weekend.

Russian air forces hit a Ukrainian army military facility in Rivne Region with cruise missiles, Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Monday.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Vereshchuk said more than 7,000 people were evacuated from cities through humanitarian corridors on Sunday, over half from Mariupol. The government planned to send nearly 50 buses there on Monday for more evacuations.

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At least 902 civilians have been killed and 1,459 wounded in Ukraine as of midnight on March 19, the U.N. human rights office said. Ten million people have been displaced, including nearly 3.4 million who have fled abroad, the U.N. refugee agency said.

European Union leaders meet this week to consider a fifth round of tough sanctions against Russia including an embargo against its lucrative oil and gas sector.

EU foreign ministers launch discussions on Monday, and US President Joe Biden will arrive in Brussels on Thursday for EU, NATO and G7 summits.

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