Vladimir Putin said Russia’s victory in Ukraine was “certain” and claimed he was trying to end the war that is ongoing in Donbass, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014.
In televised addresses to veterans and workers during a visit to an arms factory in his hometown of St. Petersburg, the Russian President said: “Victory is certain, I have no doubt about that.”
He said Russia has long tried to negotiate a solution to the conflict in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland, Donbass, where fighting has been raging since 2014, and claimed Moscow’s invasion of Russia’s neighbors should end the ongoing “war” in the eastern Region of Ukraine for many years.
Putin’s comments came as NATO’s deputy secretary general warned senior military leaders that Russia was preparing for an extended war and that its member states needed to prepare “for the long term” and support Ukraine for as long as needed.
Vladimir Putin said he had “no doubt” that Russia would be successful in Ukraine. Pictured: Putin attends events marking the 80th anniversary of the breaking of the Nazi siege of Leningrad (now St Petersburg) in the city on Wednesday
Opening the meeting of military chiefs, Mircea Geoana said that as the war nears the end of the war, Mircea Geoana said NATO countries need to invest more in defense, increase military-industrial manufacturing and embrace new technologies.
Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24 and has been embroiled in a protracted conflict ever since. Moscow expected to take all of Ukraine in a matter of weeks, but has since been drawn into a protracted conflict.
Kiev’s forces pushed Russian forces back from the capital just a month after the invasion, and since then inflicted a series of embarrassing defeats on Russia.
“Large-scale combat operations using heavy weapons, artillery, tanks and aircraft have not stopped in Donbass since 2014,” Putin said in his address.
“Everything we are doing today as part of the military special operation is an attempt to end this war. That is the purpose of our operation – to protect the people who live in these areas.’
Putin again insisted that Russia tried to negotiate a peaceful solution before sending in troops, but “we were just duped and cheated”. He described eastern Ukraine as Russia’s “historical territories,” adding that Moscow acknowledged its loss after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 but had to act to protect Russian speakers there.
“We suffered for a long time, we tried for a long time to come to terms. As it turned out, we were just being duped, fooled. We have done everything to resolve this situation through peaceful means,” he said.
Putin has explained his decision to send troops to Ukraine on February 24 with the need to protect Russian speakers and to carry out a “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine to prevent it from posing a threat to Russia – Claims denied by Ukraine and its western allies are a cover for an unprovoked act of aggression.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends events marking the 80th anniversary of the breaking of the Nazi siege of Leningrad (now St Petersburg) during World War II at the Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery, where hundreds of thousands of siege victims are buried, in St Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Also on Wednesday, Putin attended the meeting with veterans during his visit to St. Petersburg to mark the 80th anniversary of the Red Army’s breaking of the Nazi siege of the city on January 18, 1943.
The siege of the city, then called Leningrad, lasted almost 900 days and was not fully lifted until January 1944, which was one of the bloodiest pages of World War II.
About 1 million people died in Leningrad during the siege, most of them from starvation.
Putin on Wednesday laid a wreath at the city’s Piskaryov Memorial Cemetery, where 420,000 civilian victims of the siege and 70,000 Soviet soldiers were buried.
He also placed flowers in a section where his brother, who died as an infant during the siege, was buried in a mass grave.
Putin’s comments came as Russia’s war against Ukraine nears the one-year mark.
At a meeting this week, NATO leaders are expected to discuss how allies can expand arms, training and support to Ukraine in the coming months and how to further strengthen their own defenses.
“We have no indication that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s goals have changed,” Geoana said, adding that Russia had mobilized more than 200,000 additional troops. “So we have to be prepared for the long haul. 2023 will be a difficult year and we must support Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
US Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, quietly met with Ukraine’s Chief Military Officer Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi on Tuesday at an undisclosed location in southeastern Poland, near the Ukrainian border. And he is expected to share Zaluzhnyi’s concerns with other military leaders at the meeting.
Milley’s meeting with Zaluzhnyi was quickly arranged when it became clear on Monday that the Ukraine chief would not be able to attend NATO meetings in person. He is expected to attend via video conference on Thursday.
Army Col. Dave Butler, Milley’s spokesman, said the chairman intended to describe “the tactical and operational conditions on the battlefield and the military requirements for them” to NATO chiefs.
Admiral Rob Bauer, the chairman of NATO’s military committee, told the gathering of chiefs on Wednesday that the alliance must continue to transform to withstand future combat.
“The war also showed us that today you have to be able to fight tomorrow’s battles as well as yesterday’s battles,” said Bauer, who is with the Royal Netherlands Navy. “Modern warfare is as much about bits and bots as it is about mud and blood.”
He pointed out that the NATO-Russia Council held its last meeting about a year ago.
“Back then we could still sit at a table,” he said, adding that now, after Russia’s brutal invasion and the war in Ukraine, “the world is a different place.”
NATO, he said, has demonstrated that it can quickly increase and relocate its military presence whenever and wherever it is needed. And he reiterated the pledge that the alliance stands ready to support Ukraine for as long as needed.
Putin, he said, “underestimated the scale and courage of the Ukrainian people, armed forces and leadership, and underestimated our unity and solidarity with Ukraine.”
This alliance support, he said, has made a difference on the battlefield and will continue.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11648933/Putin-says-victory-Ukraine-assured-claims-Russia-trying-END-war.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Putin says victory in Ukraine is ‘certain’ and claims Russia is trying to END the war