Russia warned the US on Tuesday against ordering a “decapitation strike” on President Vladimir Putin.
“Some ‘unnamed officials’ from the Pentagon actually threatened to deliver a ‘decapitation strike’ against the Kremlin,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russia’s TASS news agency in an interview.
Describing the plans as “essentially a threat to physically remove the Russian head of state,” Lavrov warned of “consequences” should any such attack ever be carried out.
Lavrov’s comments refer to an anonymous U.S. military official telling Newsweek back in September that a special operation “to kill Putin in the heart of the Kremlin” had been “front and center” among the options being considered by the U.S. in response to Putin’s escalating nuclear rhetoric.
The Russian embassy in Washington slammed the so-called decapitation option as “reckless” and “delusional” at the time.
Russia accuses the US of seeking victory on the battlefield
Lavrov on Tuesday also accused the United States and its NATO allies of seeking to defeat Russia on the battlefield in order to weaken or destroy the country. He also blamed the Biden administration for preventing the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Russia.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Minister gave Ukraine an ultimatum: Fulfill Moscow’s demands —including surrendering Ukrainian territory that Russia now controls—or the Russian army will decide the fate of Ukraine.
Speaking a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin once again said he was open to peace talks—and which the United States has described as disingenuous—Lavrov told Kyiv that it should, for its “own good,” comply with Moscow’s wishes.
“Our proposals for the demilitarisation and denazification of the territories controlled by the regime, the elimination of threats to Russia’s security emanating from there, including our new lands, are well known to the enemy,” state news agency TASS quoted Lavrov as saying late on Monday.
“The point is simple: [Fulfill] them for your own good. Otherwise, the issue will be decided by the Russian army,” Lavrov said.
Asked by TASS how long the conflict will last, Lavrov said, “The ball is in the regime’s court and Washington behind it.”
On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin again said Moscow was open to negotiations and blamed Kyiv and its Western backers for a lack of talks, comments which the US has dismissed as insincere.
As the war enters its eleventh month and despite myriad battlefield setbacks for Moscow, Russian forces are engaged in fierce fighting in the east and south of Ukraine while Russia’s missile and drone attacks have devastated Ukraine’s civil infrastructure, leaving millions without power, heating, and water.