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Putin vows to press Ukraine invasion until Russia’s goals are met; says 'campaign going as planned'

Russia invaded on February 24, with the goal, according to Western officials, of taking Kyiv, the capital, toppling the government and installing a Moscow-friendly regime.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Published on: April 13, 2022 7:01 IST
Russia Ukraine War
Image Source : AP

Relatives and friends attend the funeral of Andriy Matviychuk, 37, who served as a territorial defense soldier and was captured and killed by the Russian army in Bucha

Highlights

  • Putin insisted Tuesday that his invasion aimed to protect people in parts of eastern Ukraine
  • He said Russia “had no other choice” but to launch what he calls a 'special military operation'
  • For now, Putin’s forces are gearing up for a major offensive in the Donbas

Russia’s bloody offensive in Ukraine would continue until its goals are fulfilled, Vladimir Putin vowed Tuesday and insisted the campaign was going as planned, despite a major withdrawal in the face of stiff Ukrainian opposition and significant losses.

Russian troops, thwarted in their push towards Ukraine’s capital, are now focusing on the eastern Donbas region, where Ukraine said Tuesday it was investigating a claim that a poisonous substance had been dropped on its troops. It was not clear what the substance might be, but Western officials warned that any use of chemical weapons by Russia would be a serious escalation of the already devastating war.

Russia invaded on February 24, with the goal, according to Western officials, of taking Kyiv, the capital, toppling the government and installing a Moscow-friendly regime. In the six weeks since the ground advance stalled and Russian forces lost potentially thousands of fighters and were accused of killing civilians and other atrocities.

Putin insisted Tuesday that his invasion aimed to protect people in parts of eastern Ukraine controlled by Moscow-backed rebels and to “ensure Russia’s own security.”

He said Russia “had no other choice” but to launch what he calls a “special military operation,” and vowed it would “continue until its full completion and the fulfillment of the tasks that have been set.”

For now, Putin’s forces are gearing up for a major offensive in the Donbas, which has been torn by fighting between Russian-allied separatists and Ukrainian forces since 2014, and where Russia has recognized the separatists’ claims of independence. 

Military strategists say Moscow appears to hope that local support, logistics and the terrain in the region favor its larger, better-armed military, potentially allowing Russia to finally turn the tide in its favor.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that while experts try to determine what the substance might be, “The world must react now.” 

Evidence of “inhuman cruelty” toward women and children in Bucha and other suburbs of Kyiv continued to surface, he added, including of alleged rapes.

“Not all serial rapists reach the cruelty of Russian soldiers,” Zelenskyy said.

(With inputs from AP)

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