Russia’s Goals In Ukraine Conflict

During a gathering of war correspondents, Putin said that Russia’s goals in the Ukraine conflict have not changed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with military correspondents at the Kremlin, June 13, 2023. ©  The Kremlin/Handout

The goals of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine have not changed and are in fact being served by Kiev’s latest offensive, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a gathering of war correspondents at the Kremlin on Tuesday.

Putin also addressed Ukraine’s glorification of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, the ongoing fighting on the southern front, and the fallout from the Kakhovka Dam disaster, among other things.

Moscow’s objectives remain unchanged

The goals laid out in February 2022 are “essential” and while some details are subject to change based on the developing situation, they remain fundamentally the same, Putin said. Demilitarization of Ukraine is happening “gradually and methodically,” with Kiev’s troops now entirely reliant on Western weapons, equipment and ammunition, unable to produce anything locally. There has been progress on protecting the people of Donbass, though Ukraine continues to bombard them. If Kiev’s drone strikes and incursion continue, Moscow may consider setting up a “buffer zone” in Ukrainian territory, to keep them out of range. “No fundamental changes have taken place today in terms of the goals that we set for ourselves at the beginning of the operation,” Putin said.

Progress of Ukraine’s offensive 

Kiev launched a large-scale offensive on June 4, using the troops and equipment provided by the West, but without success in any sector. “They’re taking heavy casualties. Greater than ours” by a factor of ten, said the Russian president. Equipment-wise, Ukraine has already lost up to 30% of what the West has provided, including three times as many tanks as Russia.

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