MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. Moscow did not start a war in 2022 but its goal is to stop the war that Ukraine unleashed in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Tucker Carlson published on the US journalist’s website.
"The situation got to the point when the Ukrainian side announced, no, we will not do anything. They also started preparing for military action. It was they who started the war in 2014. Our goal is to stop this war. And we did not start this war in 2022. This is an attempt to stop it," he emphasized.
Speaking about the Minsk Agreements, Putin noted that they "were complicated for Ukraine." "They included lots of elements of those Donbass territories' independence. That's true. However, I was absolutely confident - and I'm saying this to you now - I honestly believed that if we managed to convince the residents of Donbass and we had to work hard to convince them to return to the Ukrainian statehood, then gradually, the wounds would start to heal. When this part of territory reintegrated itself into a common social environment, when the pensions and social benefits were paid again, all the pieces would gradually fall into place," he went on to say. "Nobody wanted that. Everybody wanted to resolve the issue by military force only but we could not let that happen," the Russian president concluded.
On February 24, 2022, Putin announced a special military operation in Ukraine based on a request from the heads of the Donbass republics to demilitarize and denazify the country.