UPDATE: Sergey Lavrov also claimed the following:
- It is impossible to seriously discuss Zelensky’s statements, since he constantly changes his point of view;
- The Russian Federation is not going to change the political regime in Ukraine, Ukrainians themselves must decide how to live on;
- Russia is considering the possibility of using only conventional weapons in Ukraine.
On April 19th, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the beginning of the next phase of the special operation in Ukraine. The claim was made during his interview with India Today TV channel. Earlier, on April 18th, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced that the 2nd phase of the Russian operation in the Donbas.
The end of the first phase of the Russian military operation in Ukraine was declared on March 29th by Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu.
“In general, the main tasks of the first stage of the operation have been completed. The combat potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been significantly reduced, which allows us to focus our main attention and efforts on achieving the main goal — the liberation of Donbass.” – Shoigu claimed at the meeting on March 29th.
Sergey Lavrov has recently clarified that the operation in the east of Ukraine is aimed at the complete liberation of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. He assured that this operation will continue and the next phase of this special operation is beginning.
“And, it seems to me, now there will be an important moment during this special operation,” the minister added.
Lavrov also stressed that the crisis in Ukraine could have been resolved long ago if the President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, had cooperated and sought to implement the Minsk agreements. However, “the West betrayed Zelensky”, using him us a puppet against Russia.
In its turn, since the very beginning of the military operation, Moscow has proved its readiness to launch the negotiation process and even “made several steps towards” Kiev.
Immediately after the meeting in Istanbul, Moscow changed the “configuration of the military presence in Ukraine,” Lavrov continued.
“We said that since we believe that they have submitted for consideration what can form the basis of the agreement, we have changed the configuration in the Chernihiv and Kiev regions as a gesture of goodwill, however, you know, it was not appreciated, instead there was a provocation immediately staged in Bucha”, — the Foreign Minister noted.
So far, forces of the L/DPR People’s Militias, supported by Russian troops, have made significant progress on the front lines in the Donbass region, but their advance has been practically stopped for at least two weeks. A major redeployment of Russian troops in the Donbass has been completed, and a major offensive against the AFU positions in eastern Ukraine continues. The joint Russian forces are aimed at surrounding the largest grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine deployed in the region. A major battle is now inevitable.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- War In Ukraine Day 54: Russian Major Offensive In Donbass Began (18+)
- War In Ukraine Day 53: Final Stage Of Mop Up Operation In Mariupol, Forces In Donbass Get Ready For Major Battle
- Russian Defense Ministry Appealed To Ukrainian Fighters At Azovstal, Warned About Upcoming Provocation In Odessa