The Kremlin stated that Russian forces could seize complete control of key Ukrainian cities and that Russia has sufficient military clout to achieve all of its objectives in Ukraine without the assistance of China.
President Vladimir Putin’s invasion has been portrayed by the US and its European allies as an imperialistic land grab that has so far been poorly handled since Moscow misjudged Ukrainian opposition and Western resolve to punish Russia.
“While ensuring the maximum protection of the civilian population, the Russian Federation’s defence ministry does not rule out the potential of seizing full control of key population centres,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
According to Peskov, assertions by the US and the EU that Putin is dissatisfied with the pace of what the Kremlin describes as a special military operation are a provocation aimed at provoking Russia to storm towns.
The bombing of Yugoslavia and its capital Belgrade in 1999, as well as US wars in the Middle East and the invasion of Afghanistan, showed the US’ utter contempt for human life, according to Peskov.
“We don’t need such strategists’ advise,” Peskov added. “All of the Russian leadership’s plans will be carried out on time and in full.”
Putin had specifically requested that the defence ministry avoid invading big cities such as Kyiv at the outset of the operation, according to Peskov, since he believed Ukrainian soldiers would use citizens as shields.
“No,” Peskov responded when questioned about claims by US officials that Russia had sought China for military supplies.
“Russia has the capability to continue the operation on its own. As we previously stated, everything is moving according to plan, and the project will be completed on schedule and in full.”