MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that Russia's military operations in Ukraine were going according to plan and praised its soldiers as heroes.
In televised comments, Putin made a series of allegations against Ukrainian forces for which he did not provide evidence, including that they were holding foreign citizens hostage and using human shields.
Putin said they would destroy this "anti-Russia" created by the West and said Russia was fighting against threats, including from nuclear weapons.
The US knew that Ukraine was developing nuclear weapons and was ready to help Kiev, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Chief Sergei Naryshkin said yesterday, according to news agency Sputnik.
"Not only we (Russia) but also the Americans knew about this. At the same time, they not only abstained from preventing the implementation of these plans, but were also ready, as they say, to lend a shoulder to the Ukrainians, obviously hoping that Ukrainian missiles with nuclear warheads would be directed to the East, not to the West.“ Naryshkin said in a statement.
Furthermore, according to Sputnik, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged his Western partners yesterday to provide military aircraft to Kiev if closing the sky over Ukraine was impossible.
"If you don’t have the strength, the firmness to close the sky, then give me the aircraft. Isn’t that fair, tell me? And when someone tells me: well, we have some issues about this, the voting is needed, or one or the other. We said that we found where the planes are.
“We found that they (Western partners) have all those planes," Zelenskyy told reporters, adding that the donated planes could be Soviet-produced.
He added that Ukraine and Russia could find a way out of the war if the Kremlin treated Ukraine on an equal footing and came to talks with a will to negotiate in good faith, according to Reuters.
"There are things in which some compromises must be found so that people do not die, but there are things in which there are no compromises," Zelenskyy said in a televised interview, adding that he was willing to have an open conversation with Putin.
Amid Russia's ongoing military operations in Ukraine, UNESCO yesterday (local time) demanded that the Russian Federation immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine, according to Asian News International.
UNESCO, in a statement following the adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution, said it was working to assess damage across its spheres of competence (notably education, culture, heritage and information) and to implement emergency support actions.
A second session of talks between Russia and Ukraine took place yesterday, as the ongoing conflict enters its eighth day.