Putin calls Ukraine fighting ‘war’ for first time

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday used the word “war” to refer to the conflict in Ukraine, making it known for the first time that he openly deviated from the carefully crafted description of Moscow’s invasion as a “special military operation” 10 months after it started.

“Our goal is not to turn the flywheel of military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war,” Putin told reporters in Moscow after attending a State Council meeting. youth policy. “We have been and will continue to strive for this.”

Critics of Putin say that using the word “war” to describe the conflict in Ukraine has actually been illegal in Russia since March, when the Russian leader signed a censorship law making it illegal to use the word “war” to describe the conflict in Ukraine. making “fake” information about the invasion a crime, with a penalty. up to 15 years in prison for anyone convicted.

So Putin’s use of the word went unnoticed.

Nikita Yuferev, a city lawmaker from St. Petersburg, who fled Russia for his anti-war stance, on Thursday said he had asked Russian authorities to prosecute Putin for “spreading fake information about the military.”

“No decree to end special military operations, no war declared,” Yuferev wrote on Twitter. “Several thousand people have been condemned for such words about war.”

A US official told CNN that their initial assessment was that Mr. Putin’s remarks were unintentional and likely a slip of the tongue. However, officials will be watching closely to see what people inside the Kremlin have to say about it in the coming days.

Thousands of people have been killed, entire villages wiped out and billions of dollars of infrastructure destroyed since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.

That day, Putin used the term “special military operation” to describe his attack. He shaped the ongoing atrocities as a “non-racist” campaign – a description rejected by historians and political observers – and increasingly depicted the gratuitous invasion of Russia is a patriotic and quasi-existent cause.

Putin on Patriot missiles and peace

Putin’s comments on Thursday followed Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s historic trip to Washington, where the Ukrainian president delivered an impromptu speech to Congress calling for more US support for the war effort.

During his visit, US President Joe Biden unveiled a $1.8 billion support package for Ukraine that includes a Patriot missile defense system – a long-standing request of Kiev to combat air strikes. Russian raid.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Thursday, Putin dismissed the Patriot systems as “old” and said Russia would “always find an antidote”.

“As far as Patriot is concerned, this is a rather old system and it doesn’t work as well as our S-300 (missile system),” Putin said.

“Those who are against us think this is a self-defense weapon, that’s what they say. But that’s their mindset and we will always find an antidote.

“So the people who do that are just wasting their time, it’s just delaying the conflict.”

In his address to Congress, Zelenskyy briefly discussed the 10-point peace formula and summit he told Biden during an earlier meeting at the White House. The Ukrainian leader claims Biden supports peace initiatives.

Asked by a reporter on Thursday if there were real diplomatic opportunities in Ukraine, Putin said that negotiations always go before the conflict ends.

“All conflicts, armed conflicts too, one way or another end in some form of negotiation,” Putin said, accusing Zelenskyy of refusing to negotiate.

“We have never refused, it is the Ukrainian leadership that has refused to negotiate… sooner or later any side in the conflict will sit down and negotiate and our opponents realize it. The sooner that is, the better,” he said.

“We never gave up on it.”

Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday announced the Kremlin would make significant investments in many areas of the military. Initiatives include increasing the size of the armed forces, accelerating weapons programs and deploying a new generation of hypersonic missiles to prepare Russia for what Putin calls “conflicts” inevitable” with competitors.


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