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Pentagon Official: New Strategy to Deem Russia ‘Acute Threat’ as Fallout Will Leave Nation 'Weaker'

© REUTERS / Alexander ErmochenkoService members of pro-Russian troops are seen atop of an armoured vehicle with the symbol "Z" painted on its side in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 24, 2022.
Service members of pro-Russian troops are seen atop of an armoured vehicle with the symbol Z painted on its side in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 24, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.03.2022
As theories on the possible use of chemical and biological weapons in Ukraine are tossed around, the US has reportedly assembled a team of national security officials to lay out a contingency plan for such an occurrence. A second "strategy team" has been assembled for "a longer-term examination of major geo-political shifts", per the White House.
US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl proclaimed on Thursday that the international repercussions taken against Moscow amid the conflict in Ukraine will have a significant negative impact on how Russia is perceived as a world power.
“I think with a high degree of certainty that Russia will emerge from Ukraine weaker than it went into the conflict. Militarily weaker, economically weaker, politically and geopolitically weaker, and more isolated,” Kahl said.
Additionally, a forthcoming US defense strategy document will declare Russia an “acute threat”, the senior Pentagon official disclosed, adding that Russia is posed to no longer be viewed as a long-term systemic challenge for the country–unlike China.
The official’s comments followed a Reuters report in which an anonymous US official claimed that Russia’s precision-guided missiles were suffering a failure rate as high as 60%. No further evidence or substantiating documents were provided by the source.
Moments later, Kahl declared that Russian forces will likely begin relying on so-called dumb bombs and artillery as precision-guided munitions are running low.
The senior Pentagon official also speculated that he does not believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking out a conflict with NATO forces.
As Republican lawmakers in the US call for Washington to provide Kiev with anti-tank munitions, air defence systems, MiG-29s, and other aircraft; Moscow has argued that Western nations are fuelling the conflict in Ukraine and endangering Europe via the influx of advanced weaponry and foreign mercenaries.
Local residents pass by the destroyed tank of the Ukrainian armed forces in the city of Volnovakha that came under control of the Donetsk People's Republic, in Donetsk People's Republic. - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.03.2022
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Anatoly Antonov, Russia's ambassador to the US, has called on Western nations to consider the long-term repercussions of their actions, as weaponry deployed to foreign countries has historically fallen into unintended hands.

“Now, in pursuit of financial gain, the defence industry sector companies have completely lost their moral guidelines and are ready to earn money on blood,” the Russian diplomat said. “We urge the sponsors of the Kiev regime to stop encouraging bloodshed in Ukraine and seriously think about the consequences of their activities.”

A destroyed tank of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, standing near residential buildings in Volnovakha. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.03.2022
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The UN General Assembly on Thursday moved to adopt a resolution drafted by Ukraine and its allies that demands protection of civilians, medical personnel, aid workers, hospitals, journalists and other civilian infrastructure. It also called for the end of sieges in areas such as Mariupol.
The resolution, which mirrors the text within a General Assembly document, was submitted after a Russia-drafted humanitarian resolution for a negotiated ceasefire failed to gain the necessary votes in the UN Security Council.
Russia and China were the sole countries to vote in favour of the resolution, while the 13 other countries abstained.
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