Russia accuses US and allies of wanting war over ‘last Ukrainian’

Shoigu confirmed that Russia’s intervention is aimed at “liberating the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics” in eastern Ukraine, but said “the United States and its Western powers” are trying to make the operation “last as long as possible”.

“The growing supply of foreign weapons is a clear indication of the intention of the Kiev administration to fight until the last Ukrainian,” he said, quoting an official TASS bureau in his first public statements on television after the end of March.

The Russian state channel Rossija 24 TV, which sent the statement, said the minister spoke at a meeting with senior military officials of the ministry and the army, including Chief of Staff Valery Guerasimov.

British television According to the BBC, Shoigu, 66, has been absent from Russian media because he may have some health problems.

The defense minister also said that Russian troops in Ukraine are performing “the duties set by the Supreme Commander, President Vladimir Putin.”

Announcing the attack on Ukraine on February 24, Putin said he responded to a request for help from the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, whose independence Moscow recognized.

Putin has accused Ukrainian authorities of organizing a genocide of Russian-speakers in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.

Shoigu’s remarks came shortly after the military reported dozens of missile airstrikes and artillery fire against hundreds of stations in Ukraine, particularly in the eastern and southern parts of the country.

“Dozens of high-precision missiles from Russian forces neutralize 13 fortifications of Ukrainian units,” the Russian defense ministry said in a statement this morning.

The intensification of the attacks led Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to declare the battle for Donbass over.

“A very large portion of the entire Russian military is now dedicated to this attack,” Zelensky said in a message to the Telegram social network.

Speaking on Indian television released by his office today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was embarking on the “next phase” of the Ukrainian operation, which “will be an important moment”.

“The goal of the operation in eastern Ukraine is, as announced from the beginning, the complete liberation of the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk,” Lavrov said.

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