Russia warned on Monday that the Ukraine crisis was on the verge of turning into a third world war, accusing Kyiv of playing games at peace talks, a day after visiting US officials indicated Ukrainian military could repel Moscow’s invasion.

The battle has sparked an outpouring of Western backing, with weaponry pouring into Ukraine to aid in the fight against Russian forces.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking to Russian news outlets, criticised Kyiv’s stance to the stalled peace negotiations, saying the prospect of World War III is “real.”

“It’s genuine; don’t underestimate it.”

While stating that discussions with Kiev will continue, Lavrov accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of “pretending” to negotiate, adding, “You will discover a thousand discrepancies.”

For months, Zelensky has been pleading with Ukraine’s western allies for heavier weaponry, including artillery and fighter planes, claiming that increased firepower may shift the balance of the battle.

Despite Moscow’s protestations, the appeals appear to be resonating, with a slew of NATO members agreeing to deploy a variety of heavy weaponry and equipment.

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