Jan 13, 2024 Update:
Russia’s stated purpose on the war with Ukraine (Putin calls it a “special military operation”) has not changed since the beginning.
Valdimir Putin stated in his speech Feb 22, 2022: “The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime. To this end, we will seek to demilitarize and de-nazify Ukraine”
He is referring to the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk that Russia took over in 2014 after the “coup” in Kyiv that ousted the pro-Russian leader Yanukovich, when he reneged on a promise to seek membership in the European Union.
The reference to Nazis by Putin is meant to invoke support from the Russian people who are constantly reminded of the Great Patriotic War against the Nazis. Russia was not attacked in 2014. They invaded Crimea and sent tanks to separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk. They are clearly the aggressor, though Putin says he had no choice as NATO is the aggressor.
War Crimes Are Committed Against Civilians
- Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities;
- Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives;
- Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance or peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, as long as they are entitled to the protection given to civilians or civilian objects under the international law of armed conflict;
From the Ukraine Quarterly Digest (Oct-Dec 2023) – Click here for the full article
The Kremlin continued denying chances for the Ukrainian peace formula and said there was no basis for bilateral peace negotiations. The Kremlin has not changed its narrative on the targets of the war against Ukraine, which abounds in falsehoods and manipulative statements. Putin continues asserting that Russia did not start the war in Ukraine and expounding on the need to consider how to stop “the tragedy” in Ukraine. Russia has seen more of its armory and vehicles destroyed than it likely anticipated, but it relies on the West’s potential fatigue in supporting Ukraine when spreading misinformation about Ukraine in Western countries.