The counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has not been a success, and Kyiv's losses exceed those of the Russian forces eight times, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with China Central Television.
"So far there are no results [of the counteroffensive], there are only huge losses. The losses are just huge — approximately one to eight, in ratio," Putin told Chinese journalists before his trip to China.
After face-to-face Russia-Ukraine talks in Istanbul, Ukraine announced that it would strive for Russia's strategic defeat on the battlefield, Putin noted. According to him, the Ukrainian side "threw the agreements into the oven” after the Russian troops pulled away from Kyiv.
In order for a dialogue between Moscow and Kyiv to start, Ukraine needs to lift the ban on conducting talks with Russia, the Russian president said.
After 2014, Russia did everything to peacefully resolve the conflict in Ukraine, Putin added. Moscow was not allowed to resolve the then disagreements peacefully.
"The special military operation that Russia started is not the beginning of the war, this is an attempt to stop it,” the president said.
China's 12-point plan to resolve the conflict in Ukraine deems realistic, Putin noted. The plan stipulates for the resumption of peace negotiations and the cessation of hostilities. Many provisions of this plan could serve the basis for peaceful regulation, but so far Kyiv is not ready for dialogue, he said.
According to Putin, the conflict in Ukraine was in particular aggravated by Kyiv's involvement in NATO. The head of state recalled the 1991 Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine that defined Ukraine as a neutral state.
"If we believe that NATO expansion into Ukraine poses a threat to us, we ask that it be heard,” the president said.
Putin said that he did not understand why NATO announced in 2008 that it would welcome Ukraine as part of the alliance. Subsequently, the North Atlantic Alliance had been escalating the situation year after year, the president said.
He also recalled NATO's promises not to expand eastward, which the alliance broke. Since 1991, the bloc has had five waves of expansion, Putin said and noted that due to non-compliance with agreements, it was extremely difficult to conduct dialogue with the leaders of NATO member countries.
"And every time we would set out our concerns we would every time be told: yes, we promised you not to expand NATO to the east. Those were verbal promises — where is the piece of paper with our signature? There is no paper. That's it then, goodbye," Vladimir Putin said.
According to the Russian president, temporary politicians come to the international and political arena to "show off” and soon disappear. What distinguishes a true world leader from temporary policy-makers is the ability not to make immediate decisions but to assess and analyse the situation and to look into the future, Putin believes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin considers his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to be the leader who is capable of making analytical and thought-out decisions.
"He is a thorough, calm, business-like and reliable partner, I wanted to emphasise this. If we agree on something with him, we can be sure that our agreements will be implemented on both sides,” President Putin said.
Marianna Budanov, the wife of the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov, was poisoned. it was said that the woman was diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning