- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

'We Are Not at War': French FM Says 'Absolutely Necessary' to Maintain Communication With Russia

© Sputnik / Kirill Kallinikov / Go to the mediabankJean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.03.2022
PARIS (Sputnik) - It is necessary to have an open channel of communication with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid the events in Ukraine, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
"it is absolutely necessary to keep a channel of communication with Vladimir Putin," Le Drian said on the France 2 television channel on Sunday night, pointing out that "we are not at war against Russia, we are in solidarity with the Ukrainians".
The Russian military has announced a ceasefire from 10:00 a.m. (07:00 GMT) and opened humanitarian corridors for the residents of Kiev, Mariupol, Kharkov, Sumy to leave the cities, at the personal request of French President Emmanuel Macron to Vladimir Putin.
Russia will monitor and control the evacuation using drones in order to prevent Kiev from sabotaging the process again.
On Sunday, Macron held separate talks with president Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky.
"I talked today with President Putin and then with President Zelensky. We are working to preserve integrity of Ukraine's civilian nuclear installations, in addition to the prioritized demands that we present to Russia: a ceasefire and protection of civilians," Macron tweeted.
During their 1.5-hour-long phone conversation, Putin informed Macron about the current situation with respect to Russia-Ukraine negotiations and expressed readiness to continue dialogue. The Russian president also provided his French counterpart with details about the provocation staged by Ukrainian troops near the Zaporozhskaya nuclear power plant (NPP) last week.
Surveillance camera footage shows a flare landing at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant during shelling in Energodar, Ukraine, March 4, 2022, in this screengrab from a video obtained from social media - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.03.2022
Ukrainian Radicals Sought to Frame Russia for Provocation at Nuclear Power Plant, Putin Tells Macron
The Kremlin said Putin told Macron that Kiev does not comply with the agreements reached with Moscow on the evacuation of civilians from combat areas.
In the early hours of February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine after the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against Kiev's aggression. Russia said that the aim of its special operation is to demilitarize and "de-Nazify" Ukraine, and that only military infrastructure is being targeted. Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it has no plans to occupy Ukraine. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the goal is to protect the people of Donbass, "who have been subjected to abuse, genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years."
In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow, which includes airspace closures and restrictive measures targeting numerous Russian officials and entities, media, and financial institutions.
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