No regrets for Ukraine: Russia “acted correctly”, says Putin | Russo-Ukrainian War

The Russian leader said he had no plans ‘for now’ to launch massive airstrikes such as those carried out this week, in which more than 100 long-range missiles were fired at targets across Ukraine.

“We do not set ourselves the task of destroying Ukraine. No, of course not,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday after a summit in Kazakhstan.

He added that the call for reservists would be over in two weeks, promising an end to the mobilization that divides which has seen hundreds of thousands of men called up to fight in Ukraine and huge numbers of people fleeing the country.

Defending the mobilization order, Putin told a press conference that the front line was too long to be defended with contract soldiers alone. He ordered the call to bolster the fight along a 1,100 km (684 mile) front line where Ukrainian counter-offensives have damaged Moscow’s military prestige.

Putin said 222,000 of the expected 300,000 reservists had already been mobilized. “This work is coming to an end,” he said.

Since the mobilization order was given, Russian forces have continued to lose ground in eastern Ukraine and have also lost a significant area in the south.

Even some of Putin his own supporters criticized the Kremlin’s handling of the war, increasing pressure on it to do more to turn the tide in favor of Russia.

After attending the regional leaders summit from Asia and Eastern Europe, Putin said he has no regrets about sending troops to Ukraine nearly eight months ago.

“What is happening today is unpleasant, to put it mildly,” he said. “But we would have had all that a little later, but in worse conditions for us, that’s all. My actions are therefore correct and timely.

“Don’t believe Putin”

Troop mobilization was marred from the start by confusion over who was eligible for the draft in a country where nearly all men under 65 are registered as reservists.

The Russian leader said that all activated recruits will receive the necessary training and that he would instruct the Russian Security Council “to conduct an inspection on how mobilized citizens are trained”.

But reports said recruits deployed to the front lines in Ukraine received little training and inadequate equipment. Several mobilized reservists are believed to have died in action in Ukraine this week.

Asked about the possibility of expanded conscription, the Russian president said the Ministry of Defense had not asked him to authorize it. “For the foreseeable future, I see no need. Nothing more is planned. »

But some questioned the veracity of Putin’s comments.

“Don’t believe Putin about ‘two weeks’. Mobilization can only be annulled by its decree. No decree – no cancellation”, Vyacheslav Gimadi, prison lawyer of opposition leader Alexei Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation, wrote on Facebook.

“Now on hold”

The momentum of the war has shifted to Ukraine as its army retakes towns, villages and villages that Russia took at the start of the war.

Ukrainian forces reported recapturing 75 populated places in the northern Kherson region over the past month, according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories.

A similar campaign in eastern Ukraine resulted in the return of most of the Kharkiv region to Ukrainian control, as well as parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the ministry said.

Konstantin, a Kherson resident who kept his surname hidden for security reasons, said columns of military trucks moved into the region’s capital and eventually left. Most government offices have reduced working hours and schools have been closed, he said.

“The city is now on hold. Mainly, the Russian military from the headquarters and the family of the collaborators are leaving,” Konstantin said. “Everyone is discussing the imminent arrival of the Ukrainian army and preparing for it.”

“The Myth of Invincibility”

Putin repeated the assertion that Russia was ready for peace talks, blaming Kyiv for the lack of negotiations.

“We even made some agreements in Istanbul [in the spring]Putin said, thanking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his mediation efforts.

“These agreements were in fact almost initialled. But as soon as the [Russian] the troops withdrew from Kyiv, the Kyiv authorities immediately lost the desire to negotiate.

Ukraine has officially rejected any possibility of negotiating with Putin after he illegally annexed the Ukrainian regions of Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk as Russian territory last month following “referendums” that Kyiv and the West have denounced as a fraud.

Putin promised to retaliate harshly if Ukraine or its allies attacked Russian territory, including annexed regions of Ukraine. The Russian region of Belgorod, on the border with Ukraine, was attacked for the second day on Friday.

Ukrainian shelling blew up an ammunition depot in Belgorod on Thursday, killing and injuring an unknown number of people, according to the Russian investigative commission.

“We have buried the myth of the invincibility of the Russian army,” General Valeriy Zaluzhny, commander of the Ukrainian armed forces, said Friday in a video message, pledging to liberate all Russian-occupied areas.

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