MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. Russian did not start the hostilities in Ukraine, it ends them, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said Monday.
"The Kiev regime has been carrying out hostilities and deliberate extermination of the people of Donbass for eight years. During this war, over 14,000 people died, including hundreds of children. This had to be stopped. The endless threats of the Kiev regime towards Russia had to be stopped. And Russia does it," he said.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address 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.