MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. The Russian army’s main clashes in the course of the operation in Ukraine are not with regular Ukrainian forces, but with nationalist groups, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with the permanent members of Russia’s Security Council on Friday.
"Let us discuss progress in the special military operation in Ukraine. As it has been expected, the main clashes are not with regular army units, but with nationalist groups, which, as is known are directly responsible for genocide in Donbass and for the civilian casualties in the people’s republics," Putin said.
He stressed that the Ukrainian nationalists were playing the role of the army’s ‘blocking detachments’, [whose task is to force ordinary frontline units to fight on at gunpoint, or be shot for an attempt to retreat - TASS].
"The nationalist elements, embedded into regular army units, not only urge them to offer military resistance, but also play the role of blocking detachments," Putin said, adding that this was confirmed by objective monitoring means.
"We do see that," he said.
Putin does not expect to reach any agreements with "a gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis that are holed up in Kiev." The Russian leader urged Ukrainian servicemen to take matters into their own hands.
"I am addressing the servicemen of Ukraine’s Armed Forces once again: do not let neo-Nazi and Bandera supporters use your children, your wives and seniors as a human shield, take matters into your own hands," the Russian head of state said at a meeting with permanent members of Russia’s Security Council on Friday. "It seems that you and I will have a better chance of reaching an agreement than with that gang of junkies and neo-Nazis that are holed up in Kiev and is holding hostage the entire Ukrainian nation," Putin said.
That said, the Russian president gave the highest marks to the heroic actions of Russian soldiers and officers. "I want to give the highest marks to the actions of Russian servicemen and officers. They are acting courageously, professionally, heroically fulfilling their duty, successfully resolving the most important task on ensuring the security of our nation and our homeland," Putin said.
The Russian leader 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.
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported later on Thursday that Russian troops were not delivering strikes against Ukrainian cities. It emphasized that Ukrainian military infrastructure was being destroyed by precision weapons.
Neo-Nazis in Ukraine are deploying heavy weapons right in the center of large cities to provoke retaliatory fire on residential quarters, Putin said.
"According to the available information, which is confirmed by data-recording equipment, we see this: Banderites and Neo-Nazis are deploying heavy weapons, including multiple rocket launchers, in the central areas of large cities, including Kiev and Kharkov," Putin said.
As the Russian president pointed out, they are thus planning to provoke retaliatory fire by Russian weapons "on residential quarters."
"In actual fact, they are acting in the same way as terrorists do throughout the world: they are using people as a human shield in the hope of subsequently blaming Russia for civilian victims," the head of state explained.
It is reliably known that "all these developments are unfolding on recommendations from foreign advisors, first of all, American instructors," Putin emphasized.
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 unfolding developments, 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.