“The Russian army is always taking over new territories,” Putin claimed. Russia is in no hurry to end its “special military operation” in Ukraine. The Russian President said that control of Ukrainian territory is gradually being taken over. The plan and the main goal of Russia remain unchanged: to “liberate” the entire Donbass region.
In addition, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is not ready for peace talks. Putin, on the other hand, praises Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who has repeatedly suggested meetings with Zelenskyy. The Turkish leader made a “significant contribution” to attempts to end the conflict.
Under pressure from Ukrainian counter-offensives, Russia’s armed forces withdrew almost completely from the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv last weekend.
In Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Putin himself commented on his opponent’s successes for the first time. “The Kyiv leadership has declared that it has launched and is conducting an active counteroffensive,” he said. “Well, let’s see how this one will develop and where it ends.”
The Kremlin chief also accused Ukraine of attempting to attack Russian nuclear power plants – and threatened: “If they ultimately do not understand that such methods are unacceptable, there will be an answer.” So far there have been counterattacks as a warning. If the situation does not change, the answer will be “tougher”.
In addition, he said: “I draw your attention to the fact that we are not fighting with the entire army. We are only fighting with part of the Russian army, with contract soldiers.” In particular since the withdrawal from Kharkiv, there have been calls in circles close to Putin for a general mobilization in the country. So far, however, it has been said from the Kremlin, where there is only talk of a “special military operation” in Ukraine, that this is not currently planned.