Russian President Vladimir Putin said today warned that a direct clash between NATO and Russian troops would lead to a “global catastrophe,” adding that he sees no need to carry out massive strikes against Ukraine… “for now.”
It was revealed on Friday – shortly before Putin spoke in Astana – that the Kremlin has increased the number of strategic nuclear bombers stationed at an airbase near the Finnish and Norwegian borders, satellite images reveal.
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Putin also stressed that Russia is willing to hold peace talks, although he said they would require international mediation as Russia is no longer able to trust Ukraine to be true to its word.
Daily Mail report: Putin was speaking in Astana after a meeting of The Commonwealth of Independent States Summit (CIS), where he sat down with fellow leaders of ex-Soviet states.
Other attendees included Belarusian dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko, who said on Friday that Russian troops would soon be arriving to take part in a regional grouping’of forces to protect its borders.
‘The introduction of troops into a direct confrontation with the Russian army is a very dangerous step that could lead to a global catastrophe,’ Putin told reporters. ‘I hope that those who speak of this have enough sense not to take such steps.’
Putin said he currently saw no need for ‘massive strikes’ on Ukraine now having hit their intended targets earlier in the week – but that could change in the future – and insisted that it was not his goal to destroy Ukraine.
‘There is no need now for massive strikes. There are other tasks. For now. And then it will be clear,’ he said, adding: ‘We do not set ourselves the task of destroying Ukraine. No, of course not,’ Putin said.
He went on to say that the ‘partial mobilization’ he announced last month, which the defence minister said aimed to recruit 300,000 soldiers, was finishing and would be over within two weeks.
‘Nothing additional is planned. No proposals have been received from the defence ministry and I don’t see any additional need in the foreseeable future.
‘Now 222,000 people have been mobilised out of 300,000. Within about two weeks, all mobilisation activities will be completed.’ A total of 33,000 of them are already in military units and 16,000 are involved in the military operation in Ukraine, he said.
He said his decision to call-up of reserve forces to fight in Ukraine had been vital to hold the front line. ‘The line of contact is 680 miles so it is practically impossible to hold it with forces formed only of contract soldiers, especially since they take part in offensive activities,’ Putin said.
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