Kremlin Says NATO’s ‘Direct Involvement’ in Ukraine War Is ‘Growing’

A former advisor to Putin says Russia could retaliate against NATO countries for sending tanks to Ukraine

The Kremlin said Thursday that the US and NATO’s “direct involvement” in the war in Ukraine is “growing” as the Western powers are pledging to send tanks and other equipment.

“There have been repeated statements from the European capitals and from Washington that the sending of various weapons systems, including tanks, to Ukraine by no means signifies the involvement of these countries or the alliance in the hostilities in Ukraine,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“We strongly disagree with this. Moscow perceives everything that both the alliance and the capitals I mentioned have been doing as direct involvement in the conflict. We see that it is growing,” Peskov added.

US and other Western officials have typically downplayed the idea that they were directly involved in the conflict, although German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Berlin and its allies were “fighting a war against Russia.”

President Biden tried to downplay the provision of tanks by claiming they did not pose an “offensive threat” to Russia. But Russian officials clearly don’t see it that way and view the move as a major escalation.

Sergey Karaganov, a former advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, told Al Jazeera that Russia could retaliate against NATO countries in response to the new aid. “By sending tanks, the NATO countries are becoming more openly involved in the war, and that makes them potential targets,” he said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.