SEOUL, February 28. /TASS/. The US hegemonic policy and Western countries’ disregard for Russia’s legitimate security interests are the root cause of the situation in Ukraine, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.
"The crisis in Ukraine stems from the hegemonic policy by the United States and the West, which are acting willfully and arbitrarily towards other countries," the Korean Central News Agency cited a North Korean diplomat as saying.
As the diplomat pointed out, the West and the United States "were systematically undermining the security system in Europe with their increasingly manifest attempts to deploy offensive weapons there and expand NATO to the east."
Russia’s security demands were legitimate and rational but, nonetheless, they were ignored, Pyongyang said. The North Korean Foreign Ministry also recalled the Western countries’ military operations in Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on the morning of February 24 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 and the operation was aimed at demilitarizing and denazifying the country.
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.