Russia to pursue Ukraine offensive until all 'goals achieved'

WION Web Team
Moscow, RussiaUpdated: Mar 01, 2022, 05:13 PM IST

A serviceman of pro-Russian militia walks next to a military convoy of armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) on a road in the Luhansk region, Ukraine Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a 'special operation' that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its southern neighbour's military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists

Russia will continue the offensive in Ukraine until its "goals are achieved", Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday, almost a week into Moscow's invasion. 

"Russian armed forces will continue to conduct the special military operation until set goals are achieved," Shoigu said at a press conference aired on state television.

He said Moscow aims to "demilitarise and de-Nazify" Ukraine, as well as protect Russia from a "military threat created by Western countries".

Russian shelling pounded civilian targets in Ukraine’s second-largest city again Tuesday and a 40-mile convoy of tanks and other vehicles threatened the capital, tactics Ukraine’s embattled president said were designed to force him into concessions in Europe’s largest ground war in generations.

With the Kremlin increasingly isolated by tough economic sanctions that have tanked the ruble currency, Russian troops attempted to advance on Ukraine’s two biggest cities. In strategic Kharkiv, an eastern city with a population of about 1.5 million, videos posted online showed explosions hitting the region’s Soviet-era administrative building and residential areas.

With Western powers sending weapons to Ukraine and driving a global squeeze of Russia’s economy, President Vladimir Putin’s options diminished as he seeks to redraw the global map, and pull Ukraine’s western-leaning democracy back into Moscow’s orbit.

Meanwhile, Russia's foreign minister told a Geneva disarmament meeting on Tuesday that Kiev has been seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, calling this a real danger that it needed to prevent.

"Ukraine still has Soviet technologies and the means of delivery of such weapons," Sergei Lavov told the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament in a pre-recorded address. "We cannot fail to respond to this real danger," he said.

At the same meeting, Ukraine's foreign minister accused Russia of war crimes through its shelling of his country and called for a special meeting to address Russian aggression and weapons of mass destruction.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special operation" that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its southern neighbour's military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.

The Russian military’s movements have been stalled by fierce resistance on the ground and a surprising inability to dominate Ukraine’s airspace.

In the face of that resistance, the Kremlin has twice in as many days raised the specter of nuclear war and put on high alert an arsenal that includes intercontinental ballistic missiles and long-range bombers. Stepping up his rhetoric, President Vladimir Putin denounced the United States and its allies as an “empire of lies.”

(With inputs from agencies)