Putin says military operation is going according to plan
He warns the west against no-fly zone in Ukraine
No need for martial law – Putin says
Kremlin says West is acting like bandits
President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that Western sanctions against Russia were akin to a declaration of war and warned that any attempt to impose a no-fly zone in Ukraine would have catastrophic consequences for the world.
Putin reiterated that his goal was to defend Russian-speaking communities through the “demilitarization and de-Nazification” of the country so that Russia’s former Soviet neighbor would become neutral and no longer threaten Russia.
Ukraine and Western countries have dismissed this as an unfounded pretext for the invasion he launched on February 24 and have imposed a host of sanctions to isolate Moscow.
“These sanctions being imposed are like a declaration of war, but thank God it has not come to that,” Putin told a group of flight attendants at an Aeroflot training center near Moscow.
He said any attempt by another power to impose a no-fly zone in Ukraine would be considered by Russia as a step in the military conflict. Such a move, he said, would have catastrophic consequences for Europe and the world.
NATO’s military alliance has rejected Kiev’s request for a no-fly zone, saying it would escalate the war outside Ukraine into a much larger conflict, potentially pitting the United States against Russia.
‘GO TO PLANS’
Asked about reports that Russian conscripts had been used in Ukraine, Putin said no one was involved and said the military operation would go according to plan.
“There is not one conscript and we do not intend there to be,” Putin said. “Our army will fulfill all tasks. I don’t doubt that at all. Everything is going according to plan.”
That description was at odds with assessments by US and British officials. British military intelligence said on Thursday that the Russian advance towards the Ukrainian capital had made little progress and met fervent resistance.
Putin dismissed concerns that martial law or an emergency could be declared in Russia. He said such a measure would only be imposed if there was a significant internal or external threat.
“We do not intend to introduce a special regime on Russian territory – there is no need at the moment,” Putin said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the West was behaving like a bandit by cutting economic ties over the conflict in Ukraine, but Russia was far too big to be isolated as the world was much bigger than just the United States and Russia. Europe.