Talks with Ukraine have reached "a dead end," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in fresh Tuesday remarks. "We will not stop military operations in Ukraine until they succeed." He explained that Ukraine has "deviated" from agreements and any possible prior progress reached during the Istanbul meetings, according to state-run RIA.
The strong remarks aimed at both Kiev and the West were given during a joint presser with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko. He further hailed that the military operations is still going "according to plan," Bloomberg reports, however while admitting to the domestic population that "Russian logistics and payment systems remain a weakness and the long-term impact of western measures could be more painful." But he also said the county has withstood the economic "blitzkrieg" from the West.
Putin described that what's happening in Ukraine is a "tragedy" but that ultimately Russia had "no choice" but to launch the special military operation.
As Piotr Zalewkski ofThe Economist comments, this is hardly surprising, but it makes Turkey look bad. Few put much faith that the talks would succeed, but still it's not a "good look for Turkey, which had been trumpeting progress where there was next to no progress to speak of."
Putin said that the West was seeking to turn Ukraine into an "anti-Russian foothold" which made...
"Russia clashing with those forces was inevitable, and they were only choosing the time for an attack."
"The main goal is to help the people of Donbass [region in eastern Ukraine], whose independence we recognized. We were forced to do so because the Kiev authorities, pressed by the West, refused to comply with the Minsk agreements aimed at a peaceful solution of the Donbass-related problems," Putin explained.
The Russian leader confirmed that military operations are now focusing on liberating the Donbas region in Ukraine's east - something the Pentagon also said it has observed as reinforcements arrived in recent days.
Zelensky has also of late expressed frustration with both talks with Russia on the one hand and NATO inaction on the other...
Peace talks have stalled because Zelenskyy is no longer open to discussions on Crimea, which is what he said in March. Now, Crimea is a "red line." He says Ukraine could never recognize Crimea. That has long been a red line for US government as well. https://t.co/0XKoV55Gnh— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) April 12, 2022
And more alarming statements from the speech, suggesting a future direct confrontation with NATO could be on the horizon:
- PUTIN, TALKING ABOUT CONFRONATION WITH WEST, SAYS TIME WILL PUT EVERYTHING IN ITS PROPER PLACE
- PUTIN SAYS INFLATION AND RISING FOOD AND PETROL PRICES IN WEST WILL START TO PUT PRESSURE ON POLITICIANS THERE
- PUTIN SAYS THE WEST DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THAT DIFFICULT CONDITIONS UNITE RUSSIAN PEOPLE - RIA
On Bucha, and current widespread allegations of Russian troops conducting war crimes coming from the West, Putin told Lukashenko:
"I talked to colleagues from Western countries often. And when they say 'Bucha' to me, I ask, have you ever been to Raqqa? Did you see how this Syrian city was completely destroyed, down to the very ground, by American aircraft? And there, indeed, the corpses were laying and decomposing in the ruins for months. No one cared about it, nobody even noticed", Putin said according to state media.
"We know that today our officers are participating in a special military operation in Ukraine's Donbass [region], providing assistance to the people's republics of Donbass. They act courageously, competently, and effectively, using the most advanced weapons fitted with unique specifications," the Russian leader added.