Russia can ‘achieve its goals’ in Ukraine only ‘by military means’ — Kremlin’s Peskov

13 March, 04:30 PM
Putin's spokesman Peskov (Photo:Кремль)

Putin's spokesman Peskov (Photo:Кремль)

The spokesman of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, stated that Russia can “achieve its goals” in the war against Ukraine only “by military means,” Russian propaganda news agency RIA Novosti reported on March 13.

“Achieving the set goals continues to be and will always remain an absolute priority for us. Now they can be achieved only by military means,” he said, adding that there are “no prerequisites” for peace today.

Peskov did not specify what Russia’s goals in Ukraine were. They appear to have changed several times over the past year.

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Russia first launched its full-scale invasion and war in Ukraine on Feb. 24 with an attack on the capital Kyiv, apparently intending to carry out regime change in Ukraine. The Kremlin also claimed it wanted to “de-Nazify” and “de-militarize” Ukraine.

However, the Russian plan to capture Kyiv quickly collapsed in the face of fierce Ukrainian resistance — while some special operations units managed to enter the capital, they were quickly located and killed by Ukrainian defenders.

Within a month the main Russian assault forces headed for Kyiv in Kyiv Oblast and Chernihiv Oblast were defeated by Ukrainian forces, and they retreated back into Belarus and Russia from Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts.

Russia then shifted its stated war goals to capturing the Donbas region of Ukraine, but it soon lost ground there as Ukrainian forces executed a lightning counter-offensive in Kharkiv Oblast that liberated most of that eastern oblast and parts of neighboring Luhansk Oblast.

The Kremlin then claimed it had annexed Ukraine’s Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, despite not being in full control of any of them. Only a handful of rogue and pariah states have recognized the Kremlin’s claimed annexations, and that of Ukraine’s Crimea earlier, in 2014.

Ukraine has since liberated the city of Kherson — the only major regional center that Russia managed to capture in its full-scale invasion — and the part of Kherson Oblast on the right (western) bank of the Dnipro River.

Since then, Russia has been concentrating on capturing the Donetsk Oblast town of Bakhmut, but despite months of fighting, has only been able to make small gains around the town, at the cost of huge numbers of casualties, according to Ukrainian and Western intelligence sources.

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, about 710 Russian soldiers were killed in Ukraine in the last day — around 500 are being killed in the Bakhmut area every day, the Ukrainian military says.

In total, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Russian Federation has lost almost 160,000 of its soldiers.

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