An operation, not occupation: Kremlin spokesperson
A press conference with Dmitry Peskov addresses a number of questions on today's events.
On Thursday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that the word "occupation" is inapplicable to the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
"No one is talking about occupation. The word is not applicable in this case," Peskov told reporters.
Commenting on a question regarding whether Russia will create political change in Kiev, Peskov said that the question is a matter of choice of the Ukrainian people.
"Earlier, I once again spoke about the two objectives [of the Russian operation] that were formulated by the commander-in-chief and the country's president, [Vladimir Putin]. The rest is a matter of choice of the Ukrainian people," the spokesman said.
Among the objects is the neutralization of the Ukrainian military potential, which, according to Peksov, has recently significantly increased, "thanks to the activity of foreign countries."
The objective raises the question of whether the demilitarization of Kiev meant the elimination of the Ukrainian army as a whole.
Sanctions, diplomacy, and Erdogan
Peksov, regarding the West's intention to introduce sanctions against Putin and the Russian government, said that Moscow felt negative about it.
"It is negative," Peskov told reporters when asked about the Kremlin's attitude.
Despite the ongoing conflict, Moscow asserts that it sees no obstacles to negotiations between Putin and the Ukrainian president, Vladimir Zelensky, if Ukraine is ready to talk about Moscow's security concerns, Peskov said.
Upon being asked whether Russia is ready for contacts, Peskov said "If the Ukrainian leadership is ready to talks about it."
Lukashenko, narrating what was said in a phone call with Kiev, said that Ukraine knew about the operation beforehand, and did nothing.
Putin held phone conversations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Lukashenko to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine, according to Peskov.
He said, "Yes, there really was a conversation with ... Lukashenko. The situation around Ukraine was discussed," Peskov told reporters.
When asked about Erdogan's reaction to what is happening, Peskov replied that "the atmosphere is working."