No peace in Ukraine until Russia achieves its goals: President Putin

Russian President Putin holds his annual year-end press conference in Moscow. (Photo/Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says there will be no peace in Ukraine until the Kremlin realises its goals, which remain unchanged after nearly two years of fighting that has sent tensions soaring between Moscow and the West.

Speaking at a year end news conference that offered him an opportunity to reinforce his grip on power, Putin gave some rare details on what Moscow calls its “special military operation.”

He dismissed the need for a second wave of mobilisation of reservists to fight in Ukraine, a move that has been deeply unpopular. He said there are some 617,000 Russian soldiers there, including around 244,000 troops who were called up to fight alongside professional military forces.

It is the first time Putin, who has heavily limited his interaction with foreign media, faced multiple questions from Western journalists since the fighting in Ukraine began.

The news conference opened with questions about Ukraine and highlighted concerns some Russians have about another wave of mobilisation.

'No to another wave of mobilisation'

“There is no need” for mobilisation now, Putin said, because 1,500 men are being recruited into the army every day. As of Wednesday evening, 486,000 soldiers have signed a contract with the Russian military, he said.

Putin’s remarks about another wave of mobilisation were met with skepticism by some independent Russian media, which pointed out that he had promised not to draft reservists for Ukraine and then reversed course and ordered a “partial” call-up.

The move, which he announced in September 2022, prompted thousands of Russians to leave the country.

He reiterated that Moscow’s goals in Ukraine — “de-Nazification, de-militarisation and a neutral status” of Ukraine — remain unchanged. He had spelled out those loosely defined objectives the day he sent troops into its neighbor in February 2022.

The claim of “de-Nazification” refers to Russia’s allegations that Ukraine's government is heavily influenced by radical nationalist and neo-Nazi groups — an allegation derided by Kiev and the West.


Source: TRT