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Special operation in Ukraine proceeds according to plan, says Kremlin

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added that it was "a serious operation with serious purposes"

NEW YORK, March 23. /TASS/. Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine proceeds in accordance with previously set goals and plans, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.

"It [the special operation] is going on strictly in accordance with the plans and with purposes that were established beforehand," he said, adding that from the very beginning, no one was expecting it to take "a couple of days."

Peskov added that the operation in Ukraine was "a serious operation with serious purposes."

In his words, the operation’s goals have not been achieved yet.

"Not yet, we are speaking about a special military operation that is going on," the Kremlin spokesman added.

Kiev’s plans to start military operation against Donbass

It was perfectly clear for Russia that Kiev was preparing to launch a military operation against the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR), Peskov said.

According to the official, Russia was "hoping that Ukraine will never get prepared for a strike against Donbass," and Moscow was counting on progress in the Normandy Format talks.

"After that, in a couple of days, it was perfectly clear for us, <…> for our military specialists, that Ukraine was going to launch an offensive against Donbass," the spokesman said, adding that by that time, Ukraine had amassed approximately 120,000 servicemen along the line of contact.

"There were clear signs that an offensive was going to start," Peskov added.

In his words, "no one would listen to our concerns" until the Russian operation began.

"No one would warn Ukrainians not to do that [launch an offensive in Donbass]. No one would push Ukrainians towards the solution within a framework of Normandy process. No one did," he said.

Russia’s security concerns

Western countries have been turning a deaf ear to Russia’s security concerns for decades, Peskov said.

"President Putin’s intents are to make the world listen to and understand our concerns," he said in an interview with CNN. "We've been trying to convey our concerns to the world, first to Europe, to the United States for a couple of decades, but no one would listen to us."

"And before it is too late, it was a decision to start, to launch a special military operation to get rid of anti-Russia that was created next our border," he stressed.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in response to a request for help by the heads of the Donbass republics. He stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, but aimed to demilitarize and denazify the country.

Following this step, the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and several other countries announced sanctions against Russia individuals and legal entities.