The Ukrainian operation will end when the threat is removed and the residents of the Donbas region are protected, Russian foreign ministry officials said.
“This operation will only end when tasks including protecting the population of Donbass, demilitarization and defascization are completed. Ukraineas well as the elimination of the threat to Russia from the territory of Ukraine if it joins NATO”, Director of the Department of the Community of Independent States of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Russia Alexey Polishchuk said today.
Polanchuk said Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine is still proceeding as planned. “Every goal will be achieved,” the Russian official added.
This is the latest statement from Russian officials on the goals of the Ukrainian military operation since the Russian army began its second phase of operations in the Donbas region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24 that military operations in Ukraine had begun at the request of two self-proclaimed republics recognized by Moscow, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR).
Putin accused Ukraine of non-compliance with the Minsk agreement signed in 2015, which gave the DPR and LPR greater autonomy. Russia’s foreign ministry in March released a document on events following the 2014 Maidan coup, accusing the Ukrainian government of “genocide” in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
At a meeting yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “the ongoing tragedy in the Donbass” has forced Russia to start military operations. “This operation is mainly to help the people of Donbass,” Putin said, promising that Russia would act consistently to ensure restore peace in Donbass.
Russia announced in late March the completion of the first phase of the operation, withdrawing troops from the suburbs of Kyiv and northern Ukraine, concentrating forces in the Donbas region. Russia began its second phase of military operations on April 19 with massive airstrikes along more than 480 kilometers of eastern Ukraine.
The Russian army also took control of the city of Kreminna in Luhansk province and intensified the siege of the city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine.Lieutenant General Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the Chechen Republic Russiatoday announced the Russian Army determination to control Azovstal Steel Plant, the last line of defense of the Ukrainian army in Mariupol.
Mariupol is a strategic city on the Azov coast, a corridor connecting the border of the Crimean peninsula with the breakaway region of eastern Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly issued ultimatums to the forces entrenched in the Azov Starr plant to surrender, but Ukrainian troops have continued to resist.
If Mariupol is controlled, Russia will link the strategic corridor and completely block Ukraine’s access to the Sea of Azov.
Wu Ying (according to TASS)