Everything that Russia has been doing lately, including the special military operation, is an attempt to end the war on the territory of the Donbass republics, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with veterans of the Great Patriotic War, residents of the besieged Leningrad and public figures in St. Petersburg on January 18.
According to the head of state, hostilities in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics have never ceased since 2014. They used military hardware, artillery, tanks and aircraft there, Putin said.
"Everything we are doing today, including in the special military operation, is an attempt to stop this war. This is the point of our operation. And to protect our people who live there, in those territories,” the president added.
The Russian authorities tried to resolve differences with Ukraine peacefully, but Moscow was "just made a fool," Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the event marking the 80th anniversary of breaking the siege of Leningrad.
"We were tolerating that for a long time. We were trying to negotiate for a long time. As it turns out now, they were simply making a fool of us. They were deceiving us. This is not the first time when this happens to us. Nevertheless, we have done our best to resolve this situation peacefully. Now it has become obvious that that was impossible by definition,” Putin said.
According to him, the "enemy" was preparing for the transition of the conflict into a "hot phase".
"I repeat, we had no choice but to do what we are doing now," Putin stressed.
Russia will make every effort at the state level to preserve historical memory, Vladimir Putin also said at the meeting with veterans of the Great Patriotic War and blockade survivors.
People forget many things as time goes by, he admitted. This could be part of a natural mechanism that makes one remember only positive things, he said.
"People of the new generation already perceive everything that happened before them, some historical events, as something that has nothing to do with them. In order for a person to understand that this is not true, we, of course, must deal with this," he said.
Putin promised that the state would work hard to preserve historical memory, including "to ensure that nothing like that happens again."
The West, together with Ukraine, quickly forms a strike corps in order to enter Crimea or cut off the Donbass from Russia