President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Moscow will continue military operations in Ukraine as planned as the pro-Western country braces itself for a major Russian offensive in the east.
“Our job is to fulfill and achieve all the stated goals, while minimizing losses. And we will act rhythmically and calmly, according to the plan originally proposed by the General Staff,” Putin said at a news conference on television.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at a cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East, Putin rejected claims that Moscow’s military struggled with Ukrainian resistance and had been forced to withdraw from major cities. , including the capital Kiev.
“Our actions in certain regions of Ukraine were related only to containing (enemy) forces, destroying military infrastructure and creating conditions for a more active operation in Donbas,” Putin said, referring to a region in Eastern Europe. Ukraine, parts of which are controlled by pro-Russian separatists.
Putin also said the operation will not speed up to minimize casualties.
“I often hear the question: can it go a little faster? It is. It depends on the intensity of hostilities, but unfortunately the intensity of hostilities is related to losses,” he said.
Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians, accusing Ukraine of using its people as “human shields”.
Asked about reports of the discovery of hundreds of dead civilian bodies in the city of Bucha outside Kiev after the withdrawal of Moscow troops, Putin dismissed them as “fake”.
He compared the allegations with those about the use of chemical weapons by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “It’s the same kind of fake in Bucha,” Putin said.
He also said Ukraine’s “inconsistency” in peace talks with Russia is delaying the process.
“Last night, the Ukrainian side changed something again. Such inconsistency on fundamental points creates certain difficulties in reaching final agreements,” Putin said.
He added that until an agreement is reached, “the military operation will continue until the full completion of (its) tasks”.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)