War in Ukraine | Russian offensive continues “calmly”, says Vladimir Putin

(Moscow) Russian President Vladimir Putin assured Tuesday that the Russian offensive in Ukraine continued “calmly” and minimizing the losses, refusing to set a timetable.

Posted at 10:11 a.m.
Updated at 10:37 a.m.

The Russian head of state also criticized the “lack of consistency” of the Ukrainians in the talks with Moscow, accusing them of constantly changing their position, which “creates difficulties” in reaching an agreement.

On the ground, “our task is to accomplish the objectives set while minimizing losses, we will act harmoniously, calmly, in accordance with the plan proposed from the start by the general staff”, said Mr. Putin during a press conference at a cosmodrome in the Russian Far East.

Mr Putin, who was in Vostochny with his Belarusian counterpart and ally Alexander Lukashenko, dismissed the notion that the Russian army was struggling in the face of Ukrainian resistance and had to give up taking the big cities and the capital Kyiv for focus on Donbass, in the east of the country.

“Our actions in certain regions of Ukraine were only intended to fix (Ukrainian) forces away from Donbass, strike a blow and destroy the military infrastructure,” he assured.

The president also implied that if the Russian forces were not moving faster, it was to avoid too great losses. The Kremlin had admitted last week that the Russian army had suffered “significant” losses without quantifying them precisely.

“I often hear the question, can we do it faster? Yes, it is possible, but it implies intensifying the military operations which unfortunately would have an effect on the losses”, explained Mr. Putin.

Russia systematically denies having killed civilians, accusing Ukraine of using its population as a human shield.

Asked about the massacre of civilians in the Ukrainian city of Boutcha, which Ukraine and the West accuse the Russian forces, who occupied this suburb of Kyiv, Mr. Putin brushed off the subject.

Comparing these accusations to those concerning the use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, Mr. Putin declared: “We have the same ‘fake’ in Boutcha”.

Mr. Lukashenko saw it as “a special psychological operation of the English”.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Putin had described the Russian military offensive as “noble”, assuring once again that it aimed to save the Russians and Russian speakers of Donbass from a genocide orchestrated by Ukrainian “neo-Nazis”.

“There is no doubt (that the Russian goals will be fulfilled), they are absolutely clear and noble […] The main goal is to help the people of Donbass,” he reiterated.

Mr. Putin also mocked the United States on Tuesday, saying it was ready to fight Russia “to the last Ukrainian”.

The Russian president finally felt that despite the “current tragedy”, the Ukrainians were still a “brother people”.

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