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Russia’s operation does not begin war, it prevents global one — Foreign Ministry

Maria Zakharova stressed that the real war had continued in Donbass for the previous eight years

MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Russia’s special operation in Ukraine is not a beginning of war. It is called to prevent a global confrontation and put an end to hostilities in Donbass, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on the NTV channel on Thursday.

"This is not a beginning of war. It prevents a global military confrontation and puts an end to the war that has been underway [in Donbass]," Zakharova said.

She stressed that a real, sanguinary war with civilian casualties had continued in Donbass for the previous eight years.

"The war was waged on different fronts: we experienced the pressure of sanctions and on the information front we saw some monstrous fakes against us one cannot read about in any textbook. Also, there was a psychological war - attempts were made to set our people and our elite against each other, and so on," Zakharova said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the recognition of the LPR and DPR on February 21. Treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance were signed with their leaders. This happened against a backdrop of soaring tensions in Donbass, massive artillery bombardments and the evacuation of civilians.

On Thursday morning, Putin said that in response to a request from the leaders of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to conduct a special military operation. The Russian leader said Moscow’s plans did not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories.