‘No choice but to invade Ukraine to defend Russia’, says Vladimir Putin

WION Web Team
Moscow Updated: Feb 24, 2022, 11:23 PM(IST)

Putin also said his country wanted to remain part of the world economy and had no plans to harm it. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The remarks are in stark contrast to what was said earlier by the Russian leader that Moscow had no plans of launching a full-scale invasion.

Hours after launching a full-scale military action against Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday clarified said that Kremlin had no other choice but to “invade” its neighbour’s borders, according to AFP.

“What was happening left us with no choice,” the Russian leader said during a televised meeting with business representatives, adding that “we had no other way of proceeding”.

The remarks are in stark contrast to what was said earlier by the Russian leader that Moscow had no plans of launching a full-scale invasion.

Putin also said his country wanted to remain part of the world economy and had no plans to harm it.

“Russia remains part of the world economy,” he said.

“We are not going to damage the world economic system which we are part of," he said, adding he also did not want Russia to be excluded from the international economic community.

"It seems to me that our partners should understand this and not set themselves the task of pushing us out of this system," he added.

Also read | ‘Won’t bow down’: Ukraine president vows to fight back against Russia

The attack triggered Western warnings of unprecedented sanctions against Russia as NATO, EU and G7 leaders condemned the attack and vowed to hold Moscow accountable.

Russian airstrikes hit military installations across the country as ground forces moved in from the north, south and east, forcing many Ukrainians to flee their homes to the sounds of the bombing.

Also read | '50 Russian occupiers killed': We have losses, says Ukraine as casualties rise

Across Ukraine, at least 68 people were killed, including both soldiers and civilians, according to an AFP reported citing Ukrainian official sources.

Britain said it is freezing the UK assets of Russian elites in banking and arms manufacturing, sanctioning five more oligarchs and banning Aeroflot from its airspace, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday.

The US government also imposed sanctions on two Russian banks, Moscow's sovereign debt, several oligarchs and other measures.

Germany had earlier announced it would block the pipeline from opening for deliveries.

Watch | Ukraine under attack from land and sea, 'full scale' military operation underway

(With inputs from agencies)

Read in App