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Friday, March 31, 2023

Kremlin insists ‘war on NATO’ in Ukraine is for ‘future generations’

The Kremlin has acknowledged that its full-scale invasion of Ukraine has “drawn out” longer than originally planned, again suggesting that its war against Kiev has turned into a conflict with the entire NATO alliance.

This was announced by President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov news week What began as a fight against the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy turned Thursday into a broader confrontation with NATO, which has been making unprecedented efforts to arm Ukraine and isolate Moscow since February 24, 2022.

“The time of the military special operation has actually been prolonged,” Peskov said in a statement, using Kremlin terminology for the invasion. “It began as an operation against the Ukrainian regime and is continuing as a de facto war against NATO, which de facto involves many countries in the alliance, including the United States.”

“This will not prevent the Russian Federation from achieving its intended goals,” Peskov said. “We must ensure international stability on the continent and the security of the Russian Federation for both present and future generations.”

news week emailed the State Department to request comment.

Peskow was reacting to statements made by Mikk Marran, the former head of the Estonian foreign intelligence service, in an interview with news week. Marran said there were senior Kremlin officials and influential oligarchs who were “completely opposed” to Moscow’s war on Ukraine, and suggested that Putin’s “big miscalculation” to escalate the conflict with Kiev could be his undoing.

In his statement, Peskov said news week: “The claims made by the Estonian foreign intelligence service can hardly be described as professional. Most of them are just wrong.

The Russian leadership justified the attack on Ukraine in February 2022 as a necessary defensive step against a regional NATO encroachment. Moscow claimed the alliance was preparing the Ukrainian state as a launching pad for future aggression against Russia, although NATO’s continued refusal to admit Ukraine into the alliance and its long-standing hesitation to supply heavy weapons — even after the Russian invasion began — sources of depth are frustration in Kiev.

“We are not fighting the Ukrainian people,” Putin said in a speech a few days before the first anniversary of the war in February. Ukraine, he said, “has become hostage to the Kiev regime and its Western masters, who have effectively occupied the country.”

NATO allies are now supplying Ukraine with weapons, including heavy armor and advanced air defense systems, which Kiev has long been denied amid fears of Russian escalation. NATO countries still refuse to send Western-made fighter jets or the available long-range missiles.

The main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers en route to Ukraine could play a key role in Kiev’s planned spring counter-offensive that could prove to be a turning point in the war.

Casualties mount in the Ukrainian ranks as Russian troops continue their grueling offensive on the eastern and southern fronts. A dwindling supply of artillery shells – vital in a war dominated by long-range combat – and relatively static frontlines have raised fears that Ukraine might not be able to liberate all of its territory, raising the specter of a long-frozen conflict this weakens the strength of the Ukrainian state and its foreign supporters.

The allies met this week for the tenth meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group to discuss how to support Kiev through the ongoing Russian offensive and its own counter-attack later in the spring.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the meeting was “very successful”, adding: “Ukraine has no time to waste. And I heard clearly today that our Contact Group members also know that we must deliver on our promises, quickly and fully.”

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