ÜOver the course of the year, the Russian leadership has given mixed statements about the goals of the “special military operation” against Ukraine: At the beginning of the raid on February 24, President Vladimir Putin spoke of the “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine, but claimed that a The occupation of Ukrainian territories is “not part of our plans”.
In the autumn, Putin then described the annexation of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions as one of the achievements of the war. The statements of his subordinates on the war aims varied between a “liberation of the Donbass” in eastern Ukraine and a “liberation” of the whole of Ukraine from its democratically elected leadership, which had been abused as “Nazis”.
Also during his appearance before the Defense Ministry College on Wednesday, Putin gave no specifics on what is to be achieved in Ukraine, but said: “I have no doubt that all the goals that we set ourselves will necessarily be achieved.” He assured that there are “no limits on funding” for the military: “The country, the government gives everything the army asks for.” Putin said that no “militarization of the country and the economy” was necessary for this. Russia has such a level of development and such an economic structure “that we simply do not need to do anything superfluous to the detriment of the country, to the detriment of our people.” He announced that the military would be perfected and modernized “quietly, rhythmically, without any excitement”.
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Specifically, he said that, despite some delays, the Sarmat ICBM, which can be equipped with nuclear warheads, should soon be operational. In addition, the frigate “Admiral of the Soviet Fleet Gorshkov” with the Zirkon hypersonic missiles should be put into service next year. Russia can increase its potential on its own, while Ukraine will soon have nothing “except handouts,” Putin said.