Putin: Russia’s goals in Ukraine have not changed, and there is no peace until they are achieved News of the Russian-Ukrainian war

The Russian President holds his first press conference at the end of the year since the start of the war in Ukraine.

Russia’s goals in Ukraine remain unchanged and there will be no peace until they are achieved, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his first year-end news conference since the offensive began.

Thursday’s event comes days after Putin announced he would run in presidential elections scheduled for March 2024, in which the 71-year-old leader is almost certain to win a fifth term. He has been in power for 24 years, including his term as prime minister, and his victory next year will see him remain president until 2030.

In response to questions from the public and media in Moscow, the Russian president said peace would be possible after Ukraine’s “denazification, disarmament and neutral status” — something he has repeated since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Russia claims that the Ukrainian government is heavily influenced by “ultra-nationalist” and neo-Nazi groups, something Kiev and the West oppose. Putin also constantly demanded that Ukraine remain neutral and not join the military NATO.

“With regard to disarmament, they do not want to negotiate, so we are then forced to take other measures, including military measures,” Putin said.

“Either we agree or we need a solution [the issue] He added forcefully.

Putin said that there are about 617,000 Russian soldiers currently in Ukraine, including about 244,000 who have been called to fight alongside professional Russian military forces. He added that there is currently no need for further mobilization of reserve soldiers.

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He added that an estimated 486,000 people have so far applied voluntarily as contract soldiers, in addition to the 300,000 people called up last year, and that “the flow is not diminishing.”

‘Tragedy’

Last December, in a break from tradition, Putin canceled the event. This was the first time in a decade that the conference was not held.

Russian media said the main topics of the conference this year were fighting in Ukraine, payments to soldiers and their families, and the economy.

Speaking to reporters, Putin said Ukraine had lost some of its best forces in an attempt to secure a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region. “I think it’s a tragedy for them,” he added.

As the war approaches the end of its second year, Ukraine has made only small gains from the counteroffensive that began in June.

However, Russia has made no tangible progress since seizing the city of Bakhmut at great cost in May. It occupies about a sixth of Ukraine’s territory but does not fully control any of the four Ukrainian regions it claimed last year as part of Russia.

Putin also said that it is important that UN mechanisms, such as the veto power enjoyed by permanent members of the Security Council, remain in place.

In response to a Turkish journalist’s question about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, he said that he hopes to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in early 2024.


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