Russia Says NATO Involvement in Ukraine Could Bring ‘Unpredictable Escalation’

The Russian defense minister says things are 'developing successfully' for Russian forces in Donetsk

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on Tuesday said the US and NATO were trying to prolong the war in Ukraine and that their military aid and other support for Kyiv threatens an “unpredictable escalation.”

“The United States and its allies have been trying to prolong the conflict as much as possible. For this purpose, they are supplying ‘heavy offensive weapons’ and openly calling on Ukraine to seize Russian territories,” Shoigu said, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

“Such moves are actually drawing NATO countries into the conflict and can eventually lead to an unpredictable escalation,” Shoigu added. His comments came after a series of escalations of Western military aid, including heavy tanks and longer-range missiles that can hit targets up to 94 miles away.

Discussing Russian military operations, Shoigu said operations in the Donbas near the Donestk city of Bakhmut “are developing successfully.” Russian and Ukrainian forces have been locked in heavy battle around Bakhmut for months, and in recent weeks, Russian troops have been making territorial gains.

Military situation in the Donbas on February 7 (

Ukrainian forces have been taking heavy losses defending Bakhmut and the areas around the city, something Kyiv’s Western backers have acknowledged. Shoigu said that in January alone, 6,500 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, but the numbers aren’t confirmed.

While fighting has been raging around Bakhmut, Russia still hasn’t launched its long-expected major Russian offensive. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials are warning that Russia has amassed hundreds of thousands of troops and that a big assault is looming.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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