"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

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News about NATO

Earlier, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that since the beginning of the special operation, the Russian Armed Forces had eliminated more than 5,800 foreign mercenaries.

NATO soldiers under the guise of mercenaries are involved in combat operations in Ukraine, Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoy, head of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate, said in an interview with Russian media.

About 32,000 NATO soldiers, over 1,000 armored vehicles, 235 airplanes and helicopters are deployed near Russia's and Belarus's borders, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday.

The West wants Ukraine to submit a list of targets inside Russia and provide reasons for striking them, a source told TASS.

"Western sponsors of the Kiev regime link continued deliveries of long-range combat missiles to Ukraine with the effectiveness of their practical use," the source said. "NATO countries that transfer such weapons are well aware that the regime of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelenskyy uses terrorist methods, using these missiles to strike civilian sites on Russian territory, killing unarmed Russian citizens."

The Russian military has made the accusation that NATO troops are actually manning and directly overseeing Ukraine's advanced anti-air defense systems which were provided by the West.

The charge comes after weeks of the Kremlin saying that French mercenaries have been positioned in the city of Kharkiv, which sits across from Belgorod - a Russian border area subject of persistent mortar and rocket attacks.

The West grossly overestimated Ukraine’s chances of battlefield progress against Russia last year, a senior NATO commander has told the Financial Times. His comments came after Kiev’s botched counteroffensive and the recent loss of the strategic city of Avdeevka.

The US does not believe Russia poses a direct threat to NATO’s eastern flank in the near future, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told Polish news outlet Interia on Friday.

Kirby was asked about the possibility of a full-scale war between NATO and Russia, after recent Western claims of Moscow’s supposed threat to the US-led bloc.

Russian President Vladimir Putin explained in an interview with US journalist Tucker Carlson that Moscow had exhausted the reserve of kind gestures towards the West and the normalization of relations now no longer depended on the Russian side, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed out, commenting on the possibility of restoring relations with the Western countries.