Ukraine-Russia war: Vladimir Putin defends a “noble” invasion

Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday peace talks with Ukraine were at an “impasse” and his bloody war in Ukraine would continue – as thousands more civilians flee eastern regions ahead of a planned new Russian offensive.

The Russian president used a speech to incite the West, promising he would achieve his goals in Ukraine.

“His goals are absolutely clear and noble,” he said. “Clearly we had no choice. It was the right decision. We are again back to a no-win situation for us.

Rejecting the punitive sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies following its invasion of Ukraine, he declared that Russia would never again depend on the West.

Mr Putin, who had been a constant presence on Russian television early in the war, had largely retreated from public view since Moscow withdrew its forces from northern Ukraine earlier this month.

His speech came amid new investigations into alleged Russian war crimes. The United States says it has not found evidence of the use of chemical agents in Mariupol, while French forensic experts have arrived in Bucha near kyiv to help establish what happened in the city where hundreds of bodies have been discovered since the withdrawal of Russian forces.

In a bizarre twist, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko blamed the UK for Bucha’s atrocities, calling them a “British special operation”, without citing any evidence.

Last night Boris Johnson spoke by phone with US President Joe Biden to discuss boosting military and economic support for Ukraine.

Western officials have said they expect Russia to double its troop reinforcements in eastern Ukraine and satellite images also suggest Russian arms buildup is underway.

If the Russians captured the Azovstal district of Mariupol, they would have full control of the city, a pivot between Russian-held areas to the west and east. Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said on Tuesday the latest estimate was that around 21,000 civilian residents had been killed since the Russian invasion began.

President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded more weapons from the west overnight to help Ukraine end the siege of Mariupol. “Unfortunately, we are not getting as much as needed to end this war any faster…especially to lift the blockade of Mariupol,” he said.

The Ukrainian president reportedly blocked attempts by his German counterpart to visit kyiv in response to Berlin’s close economic ties with Russia.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German president, has been told he will not be welcome despite visits from other European leaders, including Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, according to a German newspaper, Picture.

Earlier Britain said ‘every possible option’ was on the table if Mr Putin’s forces were found to have used chemical weapons.

Mariupol’s Azov Regiment claimed that Russia used chemical weapons in the southern city. He reportedly said soldiers were left dazed and unable to breathe after a “toxic substance of unknown origin” was dropped on them by a Russian drone.

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said the government was looking into the claim and that “there is a theory that it could be phosphorus munitions.”

Meanwhile, reports of sexual violence in Ukraine are on the rise, according to a senior UN official, while a human rights group has accused Russian soldiers of using rape as a weapon of war.

UN Women official Sima Bahous told the UN Security Council on Monday evening that “we are hearing more and more about rape and sexual violence.

“The brutality displayed against Ukrainian civilians has raised all red flags,” Ms. Bahous said, demanding that the allegations be investigated.

Additional reports by agencies

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we launched our first campaign to welcome refugees during the war in Syria in 2015. Today, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition to Following the unfolding crisis in Ukraine, we are asking the government to go further and faster to ensure the delivery of aid.

To learn more about our Welcome to Refugees campaign, Click here. To sign the petition Click here. If you would like to donate, please Click here for our GoFundMe page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.