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10 Oct, 2022 14:41

Kremlin responds to rumored status change of Ukraine military operation

There has been no decision yet on shifting to a counter-terrorism campaign, according to Dmitry Peskov
Kremlin responds to rumored status change of Ukraine military operation

Moscow has denied rumors that the military operation in Ukraine is being redesignated as a counter-terrorism campaign, following Kiev’s attack on the Crimean Bridge. 

When asked about the supposed change, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov replied: “Currently, no decisions have been made in this regard.” Previously, he said that the decision to designate the Russian campaign in Ukraine as a counter-terrorism operation can only be made by President Vladimir Putin.

Peskov also said there have been no decisions on introducing martial law in Russian regions which have been targeted by Ukrainian strikes in recent weeks.

Moscow’s campaign in Ukraine is officially designated as a ‘special military operation’. A ‘counter-terrorism operation’ (CTO), however, is a completely different matter in legal terms – it is intended to “uncover and prevent” an act of terrorism, minimize its effectiveness, and ultimately eliminate any threats to the population. A CTO also allows the government to call up more people to take part, including servicemen, the national guard, police, emergency workers, and others.

The spokesperson’s comments come after Putin declared the recent attack on the Crimean Bridge, which connects mainland Russia with the Crimean Peninsula, an act of terrorism carried out by Ukraine’s security services (SBU).

“The Kiev regime has been using terrorist methods for a very long time,” the president said on Monday, citing as examples the assassinations of public figures, and the indiscriminate shelling of Donbass cities and the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. 

“De facto, the Kiev regime has put itself on par with international terrorist groups, the most odious of them. Leaving such crimes without a response has become impossible,” he stated, before confirming that Russia had attacked Ukrainian infrastructure earlier in the day.

On Monday morning, multiple regions of Ukraine came under heavy missile fire from Russian forces, with at least 11 key infrastructure facilities sustaining damage across the country, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal.

Putin has warned that any further Ukrainian “terrorist” attacks on Russian soil will be met with a significant military response.