Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia’s military action in Ukraine was not avoidable and vowed that its goals in the conflict will be achieved.
Putin made the statement on Tuesday after he flew into Russia’s far east Amur region where he met Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
This is the first meeting by Putin outside Moscow since Russia started the military operation against Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Putin and Lukashenko paid the visit to the Vostochny Cosmodrome to mark Russia’s annual Cosmonautics Day, commemorating the first crewed space flight made in 1961 by the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
Putin added that Russia will start a lunar probe and deepen space links with Belarus.
Putin said that Ukraine has been turned into an “anti-Russian bridgehead” where “sprouts of nationalism and neo-Nazism were being cultivated”.
“This new generation of Ukrainian nationalists are clashing with Russia in particular. You see how Nazi ideology became a fact of life in Ukraine,” Putin said.
Putin reaffirmed that the Russian “special military operation” was intended to protect people in areas in eastern Ukraine controlled by Pro-Russian rebels, adding that the campaign was also about ensuring “Russia’s own security”.
Putin added that Russia had “had no other choice” and said that “there is no doubt that we will achieve our goals”.
Putin also said his country has no intention to isolate itself from the world and added that foreign powers would not succeed in isolating Russia.
“It’s certainly impossible to isolate anyone in the world of today, especially such a huge country as Russia,” Putin added.