Middle East

Putin wants to destroy Ukraine

Russia’s main purpose is to destabilize Ukraine from the inside, but the Kremlin’s large-scale military expansion is unlikely at this time, says Kiev’s chief security official.

The West has long accused the Kremlin of providing direct military support to pro-Russian separatists who have opened up two states in eastern Ukraine since 2014. (Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is keen to destroy Ukraine, but there is no significant risk of an imminent aggression, said senior Ukrainian security officials.

National Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said Friday that talk of the Moscow invasion could destabilize Ukraine and fall into Putin’s hands.

“Putin wants to destroy our country. Will he succeed? No, he won’t,” Danilov said.

“Our citizens will protect our country,” he said, adding that if Russia attacks, both the military and civilians will form a broader national “resistance” movement.

“We will protect the country. The end.”

Tensions have increased since mid-November, when Washington warned large Russian troops accumulated on the Ukrainian border and accused Putin of attempting an invasion.

However, 59-year-old Danilov said the Ukrainian authorities had never seen a “significant accumulation” and downplayed the risk of a major military expansion.

read more: New satellite images reveal Russia continues to gather troops near Ukraine


No big surge

Kiev estimates that the number of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border has increased from about 93,000 in October to 104,000 now.

“I don’t think this is a big surge,” said Danilov.

For years, Russian leaders have questioned the legitimacy of the Ukrainian border, claiming that Russians and Ukrainians are “one person.”

At a press conference at the end of the year on Thursday, President Putin said Ukraine was “created” by Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union, in the 1920s.

Danilov accused the Kremlin of trying to destabilize Ukraine from the inside by resorting to cyberattacks and deepening the energy crisis in one of Europe’s poorest countries.

If everything else fails, the Kremlin can move troops across national borders, Danilov added.

read more: Turkiye: Russian tensions with Ukraine, “dangerous” level NATO

read more: No, Russia does not intend to launch a major invasion of Ukraine

Source: TRT World and distributors

https://www.trtworld.com/europe/kiev-putin-wants-to-destroy-ukraine-52996?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Putin wants to destroy Ukraine

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