NATO participates in conflict by supplying arms to kyiv, says Putin

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Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/Agence France-Presse Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday accused NATO of being a party to the conflict in Ukraine by supplying arms to Kiev forces, as the Moscow offensive entered its second year.

“They are sending tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine. This is really participation,” Putin said in an interview with Rossiya-1 broadcast on Sunday.

“It means that they are taking part, albeit indirectly, in the crimes of the Kiev regime. “, estimated the Russian president.

Western countries, he further asserted, have “only one goal: to destroy the former Soviet Union and its main part, the Russian Federation. of Russia”.

“Only then will they perhaps accept us into the so-called family of civilized peoples, but only separately, each part separately,” he added during these statements made. on the sidelines of a patriotic concert on Thursday, on the eve of the first anniversary of the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised again on Sunday that his country will recover Crimea, a peninsula annexed in March 2014 by Moscow. A declared desire that has raised fears of an escalation of the conflict.

“Nine years ago, Russian aggression began in Crimea. By recovering Crimea, we will restore peace. This is our land and our people, our history,” Mr. Zelensky said on Telegram. …] to bring global attention to the continuing Russian occupation.”

“The United States does not and will never recognize the so-called Russian annexation of the peninsula,” he added.

In an interview published Sunday in the newspapers of the regional press group German Funke, the number two of Ukrainian military intelligence Vadym Skibitsky claimed that Kiev was preparing a new counter-offensive for the spring.

“One of our military strategic objectives is to try to drive a wedge in the Russian front in the south” of the country, towards Crimea, he clarified.

“We will not stop until we have recovered our country within its 1991 borders. our message to Russia and the international community,” Mr. Skibitsky added.

He also considered possible Ukrainian bombardments against military sites in Russia, particularly in the border region of Belgorod, already targeted repeatedly.

Ukraine has been insisting for months that Westerners provide it with long-range missiles and combat aircraft.