Shoigu: Russian forces to continue op until denazification of Ukraine
The Russian defense minister says that the Russian military was not seeking to "occupy" Ukrainian territory.
The Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said that the main goal of the Russian military operation in Ukraine is defending the country against a military threat created by the West, stressing that Russian forces will continue the mission until they reach their stated aims of demilitarizing and denazifying the country.
The Russian military and their Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republic allies launched a large-scale military operation aimed at demilitarizing Ukraine. After weeks of escalating shelling, mortar, sniper, and sabotage attacks by Ukrainian armed forces and ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi groups in Donbass, the operation began.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Shoigu stated that the Russian military was not seeking to "occupy" Ukrainian territory and that troops were doing everything possible to protect civilians' lives, including limiting strikes to military targets using precision weapons.
"The main thing for us is to protect the Russian Federation from the military threat posed by Western countries, which are trying to use the Ukrainian people in their own battle against our country," he said.
Shoigu hailed the armed forces for their "courage and heroism, and the conscientious and professional carrying out of their assigned tasks" in the operation.
Unfortunately, the Ukrainian side has demonstrated in places that it has no qualms about using civilians as human shields, including deploying artillery systems, heavy guns, and large-caliber mortars near residential areas, schools, and kindergartens, the defense minister added.
Shoigu also announced plans for a 'First International Antifascist Congress' in August, with the goal of "uniting efforts of the international community in the fight against Nazism's ideology, neo-Nazism in any form of its manifestation in the modern world."
It is noteworthy to mention that last Thursday, Russia launched a special operation to demilitarize and "denazify" Ukraine, in response to requests from the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics for assistance in combating Ukrainian troops' aggression. The special operation is only targeting Ukrainian military facilities, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, and the civilian population is not at risk. Moscow has stated that it has no intention of occupying Ukraine.