New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin said the situation in four areas of Ukraine that Moscow has declared are part of Russia was “extremely difficult” as Kyiv renewed calls for more weapons after Russian drones hit energy targets, as reported by the news agency Reuters.
Putin made these comments on Security Services Day, which is widely celebrated in Russia. During the event, Putin also ordered to increase in the strength of Russia’s borders. He instructed special services to keep greater control of society and ensure the safety of people in Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine.
Putin in September, moved to annex a swathe of Ukraine — some 15% of the country — in a Kremlin ceremony. Earlier this month, he said the war “can be a long process.”
“Yes, it is difficult for you now. The situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, is extremely difficult,” Putin told Russian security agencies operating in Ukraine late on Monday in comments translated by Reuters. Putin’s move to annex the areas was condemned by Kyiv and its Western allies as illegal. Kyiv, meanwhile, was seeking more weapons from the West after Russian “kamikaze” drones hit energy targets.
“Weapons, shells, new defence capabilities…everything that will give us the ability to speed up the end to this war,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address, as reported by Reuters. In what was Moscow’s third air strike in six days, the Ukrainian military high command said their air defences had shot down 23 of 28 drones — most over the capital Kyiv. Russia has targeted Ukraine’s power grid, causing blackouts amid sub-zero temperatures.
The drone strikes caused no casualties, though nine buildings were damaged in the Kyiv region, it said. The Ukrainian atomic energy agency accused Russia of sending one of the drones over part of the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant in the Mykolaiv region.
The “kamikaze” drones used in the attacks are cheaply produced, disposable unmanned aircraft that fly toward their target before plummeting at speed and detonating on impact. Russia says it is waging a “special military operation” in Ukraine to rid it of nationalists and protect Russian-speaking communities. Ukraine, Reuters reported. The West described the Kremlin’s actions as an unprovoked war of aggression.
(With Reuters Inputs)