MOSCOW, March 14./TASS/. Moscow deems as provocative the position of the US and the European Union that are pushing Russia to storm major Ukrainian cities through their statements in order to hold it responsible for civilian deaths, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
"Moscow has paid attention to the recent statements from senior US and EU officials [National Security Advisor Jake] Sullivan and [EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep] Borrell that Putin is allegedly frustrated that his troops are not advancing in major cities, including Kiev, the way he thought they would, and that allegedly because of this he, Putin, increases the number of targets he attacks and tries to damage every part of the country," Peskov said.
At the beginning of the special operation in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin instructed the defense ministry to refrain from immediate storming of large cities, Peskov went on to say.
"Indeed, at the beginning of the operation, the Russian president instructed the defense ministry to refrain from immediate storming of large cities, including Kiev, since [Ukrainian] armed nationalist units organize firing positions, deploy heavy weapons right in dwelling quarters and combat operations in densely populated areas will inevitably entail big losses among civilians," he said.
"The operation was originally planned with due account of it," Peskov stressed. The Russian Defense Ministry does not rule out taking under full control Ukraine’s major population centers, the spokesman added.
"With ensuring maximum safety of the civilian population, the Defense Ministry does not rule out the possibility of bringing under full control large settlements which are already practically surrounded today, with the exception of the zones used for humanitarian evacuation," Peskov said.
"The above senior officials of the US and EU seem to be pushing Russia to storm major cities of Ukraine, in order to make our country responsible for the deaths of civilians. We believe that this position is provocative," the spokesman stressed.
"The whole world knows the ruthless style of American authorities who set little store on the lives of civilians to achieve their goals," he noted. "Everyone remembers carpet bombing of former Yugoslavia, missile strikes on central Belgrade, numerous unjustifiable victims in countries of the Middle East, the crimes committed for 20 years in Afghanistan, when hundreds of people were killed in one strike at weddings and in residential buildings," he said. "This cruelty did not prevent America’s shameful flight from this country," he added. "We don’t need prompts from such strategic thinkers," the spokesman stressed.
Shelling of Donetsk
"Today, tragic news came from Donetsk, where more than 20 civilians were killed in the strike of a missile fired by the armed forces of Ukraine, which, apparently, are acting on the suggestion and under the methods of their overseas bosses," he went on to say.
"The Russian Armed Forces are using advanced high-precision weapons, hitting only facilities of military and information infrastructure," Peskov reiterated.
Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine is proceeding in accordance with the original plan and will be completed on time and in full, the Kremlin spokesman stressed.