MOSCOW, May 9. /TASS/. Russia would have used any opportunity to iron out the situation in Ukraine by peaceful means, but it had not been given any chance to do this, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.
"If there had been at least one chance to solve this issue by other, peaceful means, we would have certainly used this chance. But we were not given this chance, simply not," Putin said at a meeting with Artyom Zhoga, the father of Vladimir Zhoga, also known as Vokha, the commander of Sparta battalion who was killed in Donbass.
Russia had no other choice, Putin stressed. The president said that the Russian troops "are fighting bravely, heroically and professionally." "All the plans are being implemented. The result will be achieved - there is no doubt about this," the president stated.
Zhoga assured Putin that the servicemen will continue making every effort to "accomplish the mission." "We will certainly win, we will do our utmost," he vowed, thanking Putin for support on behalf of all citizens of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Vladimir Zhoga was killed on March 5 during an operation to ensure safe exit of civilians, mostly women and children, from Volnovakha. In line with the presidential decree on May 6, the Sparta commander was awarded posthumously the title of the Hero of Russia.
The Sparta battalion was created in 2014, and took part in battles for Slavyansk and the airport of Donetsk. After Vladimir Zhoga’s death, his father led the battalion.