(MENAFN) Tensions between Ukraine and Russia continue to escalate following Russia's announcement of plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. In response, Ukraine's government has called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to address what it has called "Kremlin's nuclear blackmail" .
This announcement from Russia comes after the UK announced last week that it would provide Ukraine with armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium, which Russia has cited as the reason for the deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus . In a TV interview that aired on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin argued that Russia's deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus was following the lead of the United States, which has nuclear weapons based in multiple allied countries, including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey .
In response to Putin's announcement, Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of taking Belarus "as a nuclear hostage" . Ukraine's Foreign Ministry released a statement condemning the move and has demanded that the UN Security Council take effective action to counter the threat of nuclear aggression . The statement went on to say that the world must be united against those who endanger the future of human civilization.
This latest development follows a series of cyberattacks on Ukraine's infrastructure, which have been attributed to Russian hackers. The Ukrainian government has publicly accused Russia of being behind these attacks, which have targeted banks, power grids, and government websites . The attacks have caused widespread disruption and raised concerns about Ukraine's vulnerability to future cyber-attacks.
In a separate incident, an explosion deep inside Russia on Sunday wounded three people and was blamed on a Ukrainian drone by Russian authorities, further heightening tensions between the two countries . The drone in question was identified as a Ukrainian Tu-141, which was reintroduced in Ukraine in 2014 and has a range of about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) .
The situation remains tense, with both Ukraine and Russia accusing each other of aggression. The international community is closely monitoring the situation, and there are concerns that any further escalation could have serious consequences for the region and beyond.
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