Russia’s Putin announces military operation in Ukraine

Posted on February 24, 2022, 5:38 am
2 mins

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine to defend separatists in the east of the country, and “demilitarise and de-nazify” its pro-Western neighbor.

“I have made the decision of a military operation,” Putin said in a surprise statement on television shortly before 6 am (0300 GMT).

He went on to denounce what he called a “genocide” orchestrated by Ukraine in the country’s east, as well as NATO’s aggressive policy towards Russia.

“For this, we will strive to achieve demilitarisation and de-Nazification of Ukraine,” said Putin, promising to bring “to court those who have committed many crimes, responsible for the bloodshed of civilians, including Russian citizens”.

The Russian leader addressed the Ukrainian military, calling on soldiers to “lay down your arms”, before issuing an assurance that they could “leave the battlefield without hindrance”.

He said that he did not want an “occupation” of Ukraine, but its “demilitarisation”. 

Putin then addressed those “who would try to interfere with us… they must know that the response of Russia will be immediate and will lead to consequences that you have never known before”. 

“I am sure that the soldiers and officers of Russia will fulfil their duty with courage,” he said, adding “the security of the country is guaranteed.” 

The Russian leader did not specify the scope of the military operation, or whether it would be limited to eastern Ukraine. 

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