President Vladimir Putin says Russia will press on with its offensive in Ukraine despite Ukrainian counteroffensive
Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Friday to press his attack on Ukraine despite its latest counteroffensive and warned that Moscow could ramp up its strikes if Ukrainian forces target power plants and other infrastructure in Russia.
Speaking to reporters Friday after attending a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan, Putin said the liberation of Ukraine's entire eastern Donbas region remained Russia's main military goal and that he sees no need to revise it.
We aren't in a rush, the Russian leader said, adding that Russia has only deployed volunteer soldiers to fight in Ukraine.
Russia was forced to pull back its forces from large swaths of northeastern Ukraine last week after a swift Ukrainian counteroffensive. Ukraine's move to reclaim control of several Russian-occupied cities and villages marked the largest military setback for Moscow since its forces had to retreat from areas near the capital early in the war.
Asked about the Ukrainian counteroffensive, Putin replied: Let's how it develops and how it ends.
He alleged that Ukraine has attempted to launch attacks near our nuclear facilities, nuclear power plants in Russia and vowed to do everything to prevent any negative turn of events.
We will retaliate if they fail to understand that such methods are unacceptable, they don't differ from terrorism, Putin said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said it is Russia that allegedly doesn't want to negotiate in earnest. He also has insisted on the withdrawal of Russian troops from occupied areas of Ukraine as a precondition for talks.