Vladimir Putin has ‘no doubt’ Russian victory against Ukraine is ‘inevitable’
Vladimir Putin has ‘no doubt’ that he will probe victorious in his war against Ukraine.
During a speech to veterans in Saint Petersburg today, the Russian President reflected on the war as it nears nearly one year since the invasion began.
He said: ‘In terms of achieving the end result and the victory that is inevitable, there are several things.
‘The unity and solidarity of the Russian people, the courage and heroism of our fighters and, of course, the work of the military-industrial sector will secure victory.
‘Victory is assured. I have no doubt about that.’
He further claimed that Russia has long sought to strike a settlement with Ukraine after it seized Crimea illegally and backed rebels in Donbas.
Putin said: ‘Large-scale combat operations involving heavy weapons, artillery, tanks and aircraft haven’t stopped in Donbas since 2014.
‘All that we are doing today, as part of the special military operation, is an attempt to stop this war.
‘This is the meaning of our operation – protecting people who live on those territories.’
Russia invaded the Donbas region that sits on the Ukrainian border with Russia in 2014 before annexing the Crimean Peninsula, igniting years of armed conflict.
Moscow moved into Donbas after Russia-backed separatists in Donbas started their own civil war against Ukraine’s then-new government, with Russia beefing up its military presence in the region to keep the two republics separate.
When Putin launched his large-scale invasion of Ukraine, the war in Donbas became dragged into it.
Putin insisted Russia tried to negotiate a peaceful settlement before flooding Ukraine with its soldiers – but Russia was ‘duped and cheated’.
He described eastern Ukraine as Russia’s ‘historic territories’, stressing that Russia let go of them after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
‘We suffered for a long time, we tried to come to an agreement for a long time. As it turned out, we were simply led by the nose, deceived,’ he said.
‘We did everything possible to settle this situation by peaceful means. Now it has become obvious that this was, by definition, impossible.
‘The enemy was simply preparing to force this whole conflict into an “acute” and “hot” phase.
‘I say again, we had no choice but to do that which we are doing now.’
Putin then made bizarre claims that Nazis sit in Ukraine’s government.
‘And as for the crimes against the civilian population by the neo-Nazis who settled in Ukraine, who run the show, and who seized power in Ukraine,’ he said.
‘Everything that has happened since is significant but the primary source of power for today’s government in Ukraine was their coup d’etat.
Putin met with veterans in his hometown to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Red Army breaking the Nazi siege in 1943.
He spoke at a factory in St Petersburg that makes air defence systems, adding that military output is on the rise because of the ‘special military operation’.
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