Kadyrov Says Ukrainian Nationalists Planned Aggression Against Russia
On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin said that the Russian special operation launched on 24 February to demilitarise and "de-Nazify" Ukraine is going as planned. He also slammed Ukrainian nationalists, who are using civilians as human shields in an effort to repel attacks by Russian forces.
The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has stated that Ukrainian nationalists were preparing an act of aggression against Russia.
"The ninth day of the special operation in Ukraine. Over these nine days, it has become obvious that we are not just dealing with Banderites, but with ruthless killers who do not disdain any methods. They and their fanatics plunged the whole of Ukraine into complete darkness", Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel on Friday.
He was referring to those who share the ideology of Stepan Bandera, theorist of the militant faction of the right-wing of Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists. Some in Ukraine still hail him as a liberator who fought the USSR and Nazis, while Russia condemns Bandera as a fascist and a WWII war criminal.
The head of the Republic of Chechnya added that "an endless stream of false information spread from Kiev and picked up by Europe, had enveloped the whole world [...] but now each of us has no doubt that the nationalists in Ukraine were really preparing an aggression against Russia".
He said that Moscow has "outpaced them, something that saved hundreds of thousands, and maybe even millions of lives". According to him, the special operation should "certainly be carried out to the complete defeat of Bandera's followers".
"Only forward and no steps back. We have all the strength to complete what we have started, and if necessary, all of Russia will be volunteers. I have always stated that [Russian President] Vladimir Putin is a far-sighted strategist. And we are looking forward to getting his next order. Just say. We are ready. We are all in reserve!", Kadyrov emphasised.
The remarks partially echoed those by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov, who wrote on his Facebook page that President Putin had saved thousands of lives in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) by ordering a special military operation in Ukraine.
Referring to intelligence data obtained by DPR forces, Azarov suggested that the Ukrainian Army was preparing a full-blown attack on the Donbass republics, but that Putin managed to outpace Kiev.
Putin Says Ukraine Special Op Going as Planned
This followed the Russian president praising the ongoing Russian special operation, which he said is going as planned, with all the tasks being implemented "successfully".
"Our soldiers fight steadfastly, with a full understanding of the justice of their cause, even after being wounded, they remain in formation, sacrifice themselves [...] in order to save comrades and civilians", Putin said, noting that Russian troops are striving to prevent civilian casualties in Ukraine.
He added that nationalists and foreign mercenaries in Ukraine are using civilians as human shields, and that they have not kept their promise to remove heavy military equipment from residential areas.
"Instead of fulfilling promises to remove this equipment from residential areas, from kindergartens, hospitals, on the contrary, tanks, artillery, mortars are being additionally deployed there", the Russian president said.
The special military operation to demilitarise and "de-Nazify" Ukraine was announced by Putin on 24 February, in the wake of a request by DPR and LPR for help following intensifying attacks by the Ukrainian Army. Russia's Defence Ministry has repeatedly underlined that the nation's armed forces are only targeting Ukraine's military infrastructure with precision weapons and that Ukrainian civilians are out of danger.
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