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24 Nov, 2022 13:20

Russian targets in Ukraine related to military potential – Kremlin

Dmitry Peskov's assertion follows claims made to the UN Security Council from Kiev
Russian targets in Ukraine related to military potential – Kremlin

The Russian military does not target civilian infrastructure during its operation in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said, rejecting the accusations made by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

“There haven’t been any strikes on civilian sites before, and aren’t any now,” Peskov told reporters on Thursday, adding that Russian forces only hit “targets directly or indirectly related to [Ukraine’s] military potential.” 

Peskov’s comment came after Zelensky accused Moscow in his video address at the UN Security Council of “terrorizing” Ukraine by bombing civilian infrastructure in places like Vyshgorod, near Kiev, and causing blackouts across the country.

Vassily Nebenzia, Russia's permanent representative at the UN, said on Wednesday that Moscow was reacting to the “flooding of Ukraine with Western weapons and Kiev’s reckless calls for a military victory against Russia.” 

Nebenzia also insisted that recent civilian casualties in Vyshgorod and Kiev were caused by the work of the Ukrainian air defenses rather than Russian attacks.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported in its daily briefing that aircraft, warships, and ground troops struck Ukrainian command centers and energy infrastructure on Wednesday, disrupting the deployment of soldiers and weapons to the frontline by rail.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.