Russia Threatening Direct Attacks Over Taurus Missiles

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated that if Britain intensifies military involvement in Ukraine, such as training troops or German factories producing Taurus missiles for Kyiv, these sites could be potential targets for Russian military strikes. Medvedev conveyed this strong warning in a Telegram post on Sunday, mentioning that any British personnel in this capacity would face dire consequences.

In contrast, Britain’s defense minister, Grant Shapps, informed the Sunday Telegraph that discussions were ongoing regarding an increase in “training and production” of military equipment within Ukraine. “There’s a potential for training to be shifted closer to, or within, Ukraine,” Shapps commented.

However, the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, mitigated the defense minister’s statements, clarifying that such moves would be contemplated for the distant future rather than the immediate present. “While the idea of training within Ukraine might become a possibility one day, no British soldiers are being dispatched to partake in the ongoing conflict,” Sunak emphasized.

The RAND Corporation recently highlighted the fragile situation in Ukraine, suggesting specific incidents that could inadvertently escalate the ongoing conflict. A notable scenario would be a Russian strike within Ukraine that affects NATO officials.

In another development, Medvedev expressed that any German decision to supply Taurus missiles to Ukraine could lead to retaliatory strikes on German manufacturing sites. He justified such actions, claiming they’d align with international law.

While NATO clarifies its non-combative stance against Russia, it stands with Kyiv amidst the invasion from Moscow. The alliance’s Article 5 could be invoked if a deliberate Russian attack impacts a NATO member, considering an attack on one as an attack on all.

There have been comparisons between the Taurus missiles and the Anglo-French Storm Shadow/SCALP cruise missiles, which the U.K. and France have already delivered to Ukraine. Notably, Taurus missiles have an edge in targeting due to a slightly superior warhead design. This advantage is particularly relevant for Ukraine, which has targeted bridges connecting Crimea with Russia.
Despite Kyiv’s consistent requests for Taurus missiles, Germany remains hesitant. Similarly, the U.S. has been non-committal about providing its long-range ATACMS missile system. However, U.S. President Joe Biden hinted at potential ATACMS support for Kyiv, though specifics remain undisclosed.

Recent reports suggest German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s reluctance to approve Taurus missiles for Ukraine. Concerns revolve around the necessity for German personnel in Ukraine for weapon maintenance, potentially deepening Germany’s involvement in the war.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, a prominent figure in Germany’s parliament, advocated for immediate Taurus deliveries, believing these missiles could hamper Russian supply chains. However, Chancellor Scholz reportedly fears that such a move could result in a confrontation with Moscow.