- 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.

Kremlin: Zelensky's 'Preventive Strike' Remark Shows Putin Was Right to Launch Ukraine Op

© Sputnik / Alexey MaishevMoscow Kremlin and Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge. In the background: the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
Moscow Kremlin and Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge. In the background: the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.10.2022
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has urged the entire world to take note of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's call for a preventive strike on Russia. Zelensky made the comments during an online conference at Australia's Lowy Institute this week.
Volodymyr Zelensky's remarks about the need to carry out "preemptive strikes" on Russia show that President Vladimir Putin was right to launch a special military operation in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
The Kremlin spokesperson emphasized that no one tried to "rein in" the Ukrainian president, there were only timid attempts to condemn the tone of his statements.
"There were some timid attempts, let’s say, to condemn Zelensky’s tone. We heard at the United Nations and so on. But to our regret, let’s say, it didn’t occur to anyone to rein in their vassal. This is very dangerous,” Peskov said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov  - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.10.2022
Lavrov: Ukraine Creates Risks That Weapons of Mass Destruction Will Be Used
Meanwhile, Konstantin Vorontsov, a deputy director at the Russian Foreign Ministry's department for arms nonproliferation and control, stressed that Moscow would monitor the reaction of Kiev's Western sponsons to Zelensky's "completely inadequate and absolutely unacceptable" words.
“I urge all [UN] delegates to go to the site where this interview is posted in Ukrainian and listen to what President Zelensky said in the original video. You will see that he wasn't talking about some kind of preventive sanctions before February 24, mythical ones that the presidential press service invents, but it was clearly about the need for preventive nuclear strikes by NATO nations against Russia," Vorontsov said.
Earlier, Zelensky's spokesman claimed that the Ukrainian president did not mean "preemptive nuclear strikes", but was talking about "preventive" sanctions against Moscow instead.
For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that Kiev was creating risks associated with the use of weapons of mass destruction, which is also evidenced by the statement of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about NATO's "preemptive" strikes on Russia.
Zelensky's appeal "only testifies to the threats emanating from the Kiev regime" and it was precisely to neutralize these threats that Russia launched the special military operation, the minister added.
"As you know, a council of the so-called European community was convened yesterday, it was an initiative of [French] President [Emmanuel] Macron, following which EU diplomacy chief [Josep] Borrell announced — proudly — that a process was beginning to form a security structure without Russia's participation. In general, they simply dance to the tune of Kiev and encourage the crazy fantasies of those who are still in power there," Russia's top diplomat said.
On Thursday, Peskov urged the entire world to take note of Zelensky's call for a preventive nuclear strike on Russia. Peskov told Sputnik that Zelensky's remarks about "preemptive strikes" against Russia cannot be ignored by the international community. The Kremlin spokesman stressed that the United States and the UK, which "de facto run Kiev," should bear responsibility for Zelensky's statements.
Speaking at Australia's Lowy Institute via video link this week, Zelensky urged NATO to launch "preemptive strikes" on Russia, instead of "waiting for Russia's nuclear strikes."
“What should NATO do? [It should] eliminate the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons. But what is important, I once again appeal to the international community, as it was before February 24: preemptive strikes [are important] so that they know what will happen to them if [nuclear weapons] are used. It should not be vice versa, as in to wait for Russia's nuclear strikes," Zelensky said.
The West, however, has stopped short of condemning the Ukrainian president's statements. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz only said that he opposed the use of nuclear weapons, while US President Joe Biden upped the ante by claiming that the world is facing the threat of a nuclear war for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Sputnik that the very idea that nuclear conflict has become a subject of debate is "totally unacceptable."
"As I have said from the start, this senseless war has unlimited potential to do terrible harm – in Ukraine, and around the world. The idea of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, has become a subject of debate. This in itself is totally unacceptable. All nuclear-armed states should recommit to the non-use and progressive elimination of nuclear weapons," Dujarric said, referring to Guterres' remarks at the UN Security Council on September 22.
In February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky implicitly threatened to revise Ukraine’s non-nuclear weapons state status, telling attendees of the Munich Security Conference that Kiev could pull out of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, which committed the country to give up its massive Soviet-era arsenal of nukes. Days after his address, Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized the launch of a special military operation to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine at the request of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.
"The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime. To this end, we will seek to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation," Putin said.
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