MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. Russia’s military operation in Ukraine aims to demilitarize and denazify the East European country and no one is going to occupy it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference on Friday.
"No one is going to occupy Ukraine. The aim of the operation has been openly declared: demilitarizing and denazifying," Russia’s top diplomat emphasized.
Russia sees no possibility of recognizing the Ukrainian government as democratic given that it "is oppressing and using methods of genocide against its own people," Lavrov specified.
"We will see depending on circumstances as Russian President Vladimir Putin said. He reiterated that we want to see the Ukrainian people as independent so that it can have a government that will represent a wide diversity and so that it won’t be in a situation where it is under full external administration solely focused on fueling neo-Nazism, the genocide of Russians and using Ukraine as a tool for containing Russia," the foreign minister added.
Western countries had been looking at the Donbass developments since 2014 through the prism of their own egoistic interests, turning a blind eye to the infringement of the local population’s civil rights, Russia’s top diplomat pointed out.
"When you see your rights trampled on, you [in the West] immediately begin creating an uproar," Lavrov pointed out. "But when the language, cultural and religious rights of millions and millions of the Ukrainian population are abused, you draw attention not to human rights but to the ‘democratic’ character of the regime that is engaged in that," Russia’s top diplomat noted.
Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on Thursday morning that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.
When clarifying the developments unfolding, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.