There should no longer be any doubt that Russia intends to dismantle Ukraine and “dissolve it from the world map entirely”, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has said.

Ms Thomas-Greenfield told the UN Security Council on July 29 that there were increasing signs that the Kremlin was laying the groundwork to attempt to annex all of the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions “with the goal of holding sham referenda or decree to join Russia”.

She went on to say that Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov “has even stated that this is Russia’s war aim”.

The comments come as Mr Lavrov told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the “continuous pumping” of US and NATO weapons into the armed forces of Ukraine only “prolonged the agony of the regime in Kyiv prolonging the conflict and multiplying the casualties”.    Watch the addresshere:

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