Russia says capable of taking full control of major Ukrainian cities
Russia says it is capable of taking full control of major cities of Ukraine and possesses enough military might to achieve its planned objectives without external help, including from China.
“The defense ministry of the Russian Federation, while ensuring the maximum safety of the civilian population, does not exclude the possibility of taking major population centers under full control,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in a press conference on Monday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” on February 24, aimed at the “demilitarization” of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, largely populated by ethnic Russians, in eastern Ukraine. In 2014, the two regions – collectively known as the Donbass – declared themselves new republics, refusing to recognize Ukraine’s Western-backed government.
Announcing the operation, Putin said the mission was aimed at “defending people who for eight years are suffering persecution and genocide by the Kiev regime.”
Since the beginning of the operation, the United States and its European allies have described the offensive as Putin’s imperial-style land grab, saying it has so far been poorly executed because the Kremlin underestimated Ukrainian resistance and Western resolve to punish Russia with unprecedented waves of sanctions.
An American official even alleged that Russia had requested support from China – including military equipment – to press forward in its military operation in Ukraine.
Russia has not asked China for military help: Kremlin
The allegation, however, was rejected on Monday by Beijing, which denounced Washington for spreading “disinformation” over China’s role in the conflict.
When asked whether the allegation was true, Peskov also said “No.”
He stressed that the Russian Federation has sufficient military might to achieve all of its objectives in the European country without any help from China.
“Russia possesses its own independent potential to continue the operation. As we said, it is going according to plan and will be completed on time and in full,” the Kremlin’s spokesman stressed.