Moscow, Sep 12 (EFE).- Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the Russian military cannot stop its combat actions in Ukraine while Kyiv continues with its counteroffensive in the country’s east and south.
Speaking in the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in the eastern city of Vladivostok, the leader rhetorically asked if Moscow was expected to stop fighting even as Kyiv counterattacked.
Putin said that for the hostilities to stop, the Ukrainian government would have to revoke a presidential decree that prohibits it from negotiating with Russia and “publicly declare” its willingness to talk.
“Ukraine is conducting a so-called counteroffensive. (…) Now we are not going to assess it – whether it is a failure or not,” he said ironically before claiming that Kyiv has suffered heavy losses.
“Since the beginning of this counteroffensive, 71,500 (Ukrainian) servicemen have been destroyed (by Russian units),” the head of Kremlin said.
He also claimed that 533 tanks and nearly 18,000 armored vehicles of various classes had been destroyed by Russian forces.
Commenting on Ukraine’s allies’ plans to supply F-16 fighter jets to its military, the Russian president said the move would not make any difference to the conflict except prolonging it.
He added that the delivery of cluster munitions to Ukraine had so far not managed to changed the situation on the fronts. EFE