Russian President Vladimir Putin has delivered a grim new warning to the world – but the way he did it has raised eyebrows.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has delivered a grim warning to the world, while posing for a photo opportunity with Aeroflot flight attendants, raising many eyebrows.
The gorgeous crew members can be seen smiling for the camera, while Putin appeared to be trying his hardest not to crack a smile.
During his visit to an Aeroflot aviation training complex outside Moscow on March 5, Putin warned that Moscow would consider any country that imposes a no-fly zone over Ukraine to have also entered into the conflict.
He also equated global sanctions with a declaration of war.
The warning came after Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky begged the West to support a no-fly zone as his country continued to battle the Russian invasion.
Putin warned that a no-fly zone would have “colossal and catastrophic consequences not only for Europe but also the whole world”.
“Any movement in this direction will be considered by us as participation in an armed conflict by that country.”
So far, allies to Kyiv have ruled out a no-fly zone due to fears it could escalate into a wider war with Russia.
On social media, some pointed out the photo opportunity and footage from the scene was rather strange, including his proximity to the female crew.
While others suspected it was set up to give him a more “human” vibe.
It came as Kyiv urged the West to boost military assistance to the besieged country, including warplanes, with Zelensky pleading for Eastern European neighbours to provide Russian-made planes that his citizens are trained to fly.
Zelensky announced earlier today that he had spoken by phone with his US counterpart Joe Biden to discuss financial support and sanctions against Russia.
“As part of the constant dialogue, I had another conversation with @POTUS,” Zelensky tweeted. “The agenda included the issues of security, financial support for Ukraine and the continuation of sanctions against Russia.”
Earlier, he pleaded for an embargo on Russian oil imports but this has been ruled out by the White House so far. However it had promised an extra US$10 (AUD13.5) billion in aid package.
While Ukraine is pleading for help, Russia’s foreign ministry has called on NATO countries and the European Union to “stop pumping weapons” to Ukraine, according to Russia’s RIA news agency.
There’s concern from Moscow that portable anti-aerial Stinger missiles could end up in the hands of terrorists, posing a threat to airlines.
Meanwhile, footage has emerged of unarmed civilians confronting Russians in occupied parts of Ukraine.
The clips show an angry crowd challenging Russian troops in the city of Melitopol, which has been under Russian control for days.
– With wires
Originally published as Russian President Vladimir Putin poses with Aeroflot cabin crew