- 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.

Putin: West Needs to Stop Delivering Weapons to Kiev if They Want to Resolve Conflict

© Sputnik / Gavriil Grigorov / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin meets with war correspondents at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with war correspondents at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.06.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Kiev is so far failing in all directions of their counteroffensive, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, adding that the Ukrainian military has suffered heavy casualties.
"The enemy was not successful in any of the directions. They have heavy losses," Putin said during a meeting with military correspondents.
The president mentioned that the Ukrainian military is currently attacking at the Shakhtyorsk and Vremevka directions “but fail to reach the front line.” In total, Ukraine is attacking from four directions, Putin added.
"This is a large-scale counteroffensive using, as I said quite recently publicly, reserves prepared for these purposes. It has been going on since [June] 4, and continues to this day, right now," Putin said.
The president also noted that the Ukrainian forces "lost more than 160 tanks [during their counteroffensive], while we lost 54. Some of them can be recovered and repaired."
Leopard 2 with its turret ripped off after an accident during training by Ukrainian tankers in western Poland.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.06.2023
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Ukraine's Losses Amount to 25-30% of Equipment Volume Delivered to From Abroad

"According to my calculations, this is about 25% or maybe 30% of the volume of the equipment that was delivered from abroad, that is about it. It seems to me that if they objectively calculate them, they will agree with this number, but as far as I have seen from open sources, Western sources, that is almost what they say, I think. So the offensive is underway, and the results today are what I just said," Putin told military correspondents
Ukraine lost 160 tanks and 360 armored vehicles during the counteroffensive, and this is only what Moscow sees, the president added.
"As for armored vehicles, there are even more serious [losses]. They have lost over 160 tanks and over 360 armored vehicles of various types during this time. This is just what we register. There are also losses that we do not see, which are inflicted by high-precision long-range weapons on clusters of personnel and equipment. So in fact, there are more of them, these losses, on the part of Ukraine," Putin concluded.
The Russian president noted that with Kiev importing all its weapons and equipment from foreign countries Ukraine's defense industry will soon completely cease to exist since it is producing nothing.
"Ukraine's defense industry will soon completely cease to exist. What are they producing? They are importing ammunition, equipment, weapons, everything. So one cannot live and last long. That is why the issue related to demilitarization is in a very practical dimension," Putin highlighted.

On Plans to Provide Uranium Shells to Kiev

"There is no need to act preemptively. We have a lot of such ammunition with depleted uranium, if they are used, we also reserve the right to use the same ammunition. We have them in stock, we just do not use them," Putin stated.
The West has taken all weapons from its warehouses for their transfer to Ukraine, and only has stocks left in South Korea and Israel that will also end soon, Putin added.
In this image provided by the U.S. Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force National Guard Explosive Ordnance Disposal Techinicians prepare several contaminated and compromised depleted uranium rounds on June 23, 2022 at Tooele Army Depot, Utah - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.06.2023
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The president also noted that the US and European economies are resilient but it is not easy to produce weapons during a recession.
“About things they say, we will produce this, we will produce that - well, produce then. In a recession, things are not so simple … The resilience of the European and American economies is very large, this is obvious. They are high-tech, the structure of the economy is very developed, they are, in general, powerful. But there are many problems,” Putin said.

Russia Had No Interest in Destruction of Kakhovka HPP, Responsibility on Kiev

Russia definitely had no interest in the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant (HPP), this tragedy had entailed severe consequences for new Russian regions, and the responsibility for this lies with Kiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"But as we understand, we are definitely not interested in this, because these are serious consequences for those territories that we control and which are Russian — this is the first point. And the second point — well, unfortunately, I will say a strange thing, but nevertheless, unfortunately, it slowed down their counteroffensive in this direction. Why do I say unfortunately? Because it would be better if they were advancing there. It is better for us, because it would be really bad for them to attack there. But since such a flood occurred, then, accordingly, the offensive did not take place," Putin told reporters.
This photo taken on May 20, 2022, shows a view of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, Kherson Oblast. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.06.2023
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The president stressed that the Ukrainian side was to blame for the tragedy at the Kakhovka HPP.
"Well, it is clear who is to be blamed, the Ukrainian side was striving toward this. You know, I am not going to say things 100% now that I am not sure about, because by and large we did not record big explosions before the destruction occurred, at least that is what I was told. But they purposefully repeatedly attacked with HIMARS Kakhovka HPP. Maybe they had planted some kind of explosives there, I do noy know now," Putin said.
All the citizens affected by the explosion at the Kakhovka HPP will be assisted in accordance with Russian laws and standards, the president concluded.

Goals of Special Military Operation Change in Accordance With Current Situation

Speaking about goals of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, the Russian president said that they change in accordance with the current situation but these changes are not fundamental.
"They are changing in accordance with the current situation, but in general, of course, we will not change anything, and they are fundamental for us," Putin said.
Putin also remarked that Russia tried to seek normal relations with Kiev.

"We sincerely tried to reach an agreement [with Ukraine]. It was difficult to negotiate some kind of patchwork of southeastern Ukraine with the rest of the country, but we tried in good faith," Putin told military correspondents.

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The president added, however, that Russia would never tolerate what is currently happening in Ukraine.
"What is happening there [in Ukraine] now will certainly never suit us, historically speaking. When the negotiations were held, including in Istanbul, we constantly raised this issue, and they in turn told us: 'But there is nothing neo-Nazi about us, what do you want from us?' [Russia wants] at least some relative legislative restrictions. In general, we also agreed on this during the round of negotiations before our troops were withdrawn from Kiev and after they threw all our agreements out of the window," Putin said.
The president added that Russia, through its special military operation, is gradually and methodically engaged in the demilitarization of Ukraine.

West Needs to Stop Delivering Weapons to Kiev if They Want to Resolve Conflict

The West needs to stop supplying Ukraine with weapons if they want to resolve the ongoing conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized.
"And we understand that the key to solving problems [in Ukraine] is on their side. If they really want today's conflict to end through negotiations, they only need to make one decision - to stop the supply of weapons and equipment. That's it," Putin said.
But Western countries are proud of pumping Ukraine with weapons and violating international principles, the president noted.
Американская M142 (HIMARS) выпустила ракету во время совместных военных учений Филиппин и США Салакниб, Филиппины - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.06.2023
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"The West is pumping Ukraine with weapons, it is really so, nobody hides it. On the contrary, they are proud of it," Putin said.
The president added that Western countries "to a certain extent violate some international laws by supplying weapons to the conflict zone."
"They just prefer not to notice it, but they are actually doing it," he said.

Creation of Sanitary Zone in Ukraine Not Ruled Out Amid Attacks on Russia

If Ukrainian attacks on the Russian territory will continue, then Moscow will have to consider the issue of creating a sanitary zone in Ukraine so their missiles will not be able to reach Russian regions, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
"And if this continues, then we will apparently have to consider the issue - I say this very carefully - in order to create some kind of sanitary zone on the territory of Ukraine at such a distance from which it would be impossible to reach our territory," Putin said at the meeting.
The president admitted the necessity for Russia to strengthen its border with Ukraine and this process is already underway.
"Of course, we must ensure the security of our citizens. ... Of course we have to strengthen the border. And certainly, those of you who work there, you can see that this process is underway, is moving quite quickly, this task will also be solved," Putin said.
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He added that Russia saw drone attacks in Syria similar to those in the Belgorod Region and learned how to deal with such a threat quite quickly.
"This is sometimes difficult, but manageable," Putin said, adding that the Russian air defense system is tuned to identify large objects, while drones are small and made of modern materials that are difficult to detect.
"Work in this direction is already underway and will be completed," the president added.
Commenting on the recent attacks in the Belgorod Region, Putin said that they are aimed at distracting Russian forces from other directions that are critical for Kiev.
Answering a question from a journalist, the president said that there is generally no need to impose martial law in Russia in light of situation in Belgorod region.
By attacking Russia's border Belgorod Region, Ukraine is trying to divert Russian military's attention from other areas of its ongoing military operation, the president stated, adding that "we have to do everything we can to ensure security of our citizens."
The president also noted that Russia cannot use terrorist methods, unlike the Ukrainian authorities.

"Unlike the current Ukrainian authorities, we cannot use terrorist methods. We are a state, while they [Ukraine] have a regime. And they indeed act like a regime based on terror. They are on high counterintelligence alert and have introduced martial law," Putin said in answer to a question on whether Ukrainian secret agents are present in Russia.

The president added that the operations of Russian special services must be expanded in the future to better protect the nation from Ukrainian agents.

Ukraine Attacked Russian Ship Guarding Turkstream, With US Coordinating Process

Ukrainian drones tried to attack a Russian warship that was guarding the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, while the actions were coordinated by US intelligence, the president said at the meeting.
"Yesterday or the day before yesterday, our ship which was guarding the Turkish Stream — a gas pipeline, was attacked. Four drones were half-submerged, three were destroyed, the fourth was disoriented and then taken down. Immediately after that — four more drones [attacked]," Putin told journalists.
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Strikes on Ukraine’s Energy Facilities Response to Crossing Red Lines

Russian strikes on the Ukrainian energy facilities and the destruction of the headquarters of Ukraine’s main intelligence department were a response to crossing red lines by Kiev, President Vladimir Putin stated.
"Strikes on the entire energy system of Ukraine. Isn't this a response to crossing red lines? And actual destruction of the headquarters of the main intelligence department of the armed forces of Ukraine near Kiev? … is this not an answer? It is,” he told military correspondents.

Russia Still Wants to Have Best Relations With Countries of Former USSR

Russia still wants to have the best relations with all the countries of the former Soviet Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"We wanted and we still want to have the best relations with all our neighbors after the collapse of the Soviet Union. And we do so, we have come to terms with... Well, that's what's happened. We have to live with it," Putin told journalists.
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