In a broadcast address to Russia’s Security Council on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused “nationalists and foreign mercenaries” in Ukraine of using civilians as “human shields”.
Putin further claimed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the “nationalists” are holding Chinese and Indian students “hostage.”
Putin has announced that the families of Russian servicemen killed in Ukraine will receive 7.4 million rubles in compensation (almost $70,000), as required by law, as well as a one-time payment of 5 million rubles ($47,000).
“The special operation is going according to plan, strictly according to schedule. All challenges are being met successfully,” Putin added.
He finished his speech with a moment of silence for those killed in Ukraine.