Heritage Foundation senior fellow for China strategy Michael Pillsbury weighs in on the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine war as questions swirl over China’s next move on ‘Fox News Live.’
A former Russian military commander turned blogger said on social media this week that the Russian military needs a “lend-lease” agreement with China if it wants to have any hope of winning the war in Ukraine.
Igor Girkin, a former Russian intelligence officer who played a key role in the country’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, said on Telegram this week that China “is the only country that could give us a lend-lease to continue this war with any level of success.”
Girkin, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, added that Russia is “catastrophically lacking” in “ammunition, shells and artillery propellants.”
Without the help from China, Girkin explained that “we won’t just be unable to fight for as long as we want” but could also “simply find ourselves naked and barefoot in every sense against the enemy as early as the middle or end of this year.”
Girkin’s comments come the same week Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the United States has evidence China is considering providing lethal support to Russia which the State Department has said is a move that will have “consequences.”
“The [People’s Republic of China] understands what’s at risk were it to proceed with providing material support to Russia’s war against Ukraine,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said. “We’ve been clear we will not hesitate to target Chinese companies or individuals that violate our sanctions, and we’re monitoring very vigilantly for potential violations.”
The German newspaper Der Spiegel reported this week that Russia is in talks with China to purchase 100 combat drones.
Additionally, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi made a visit to Moscow this week to meet with top Russian officials and Putin himself.
Former intelligence officer Rebekah Koffler told Fox News Digital on Thursday that China’s decision calculus is “entirely rational” as helping Russia’s militarily keeps the U.S. bogged down in Ukraine and focusing on the European theater as Beijing eyes Taiwan.
“The biggest challenge for the United States would be to have to be engaged in two wars simultaneously, albeit by proxy – one with Russia, on behalf of Ukraine, and the other with China, on behalf of Taiwan,” Koffler said. “There are concerns within the Pentagon about how long U.S. stockpile would last if Russia and China were to challenge us in a two-theater war.”
Friday marked the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine which resulted in a struggle that lasted much longer than most experts anticipated and is believed to have killed over 100,000 Russian soldiers, 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers, and 7,000 Ukrainian civilians.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report
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