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2 Feb, 2023 08:37

Russian spy chief weighs in on ‘fighting to the last Ukrainian’

Moscow understands that most people in Ukraine are normal and just want a peaceful life, Sergey Naryshkin says
Russian spy chief weighs in on ‘fighting to the last Ukrainian’

Russia has no desire for the conflict with Kiev to continue until the last Ukrainian, the head of Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has said. Sergey Naryshkin went on to accuse the West of keeping up arms supplies to Vladimir Zelensky’s government in order to prolong the hostilities.

Since the fighting broke out in February last year, Russia’s top officials including President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have suggested that Kiev’s Western backers wanted the conflict continue “to the last Ukrainian.” The comment implied that the US and its allies were ready to sacrifice Ukrainian lives for their declared goal of weakening Russia.

Naryshkin told the RIA Novosti news agency on Thursday that Moscow does not want to see this scenario occur.

“If we talk about Russia, then, of course, we wouldn’t want to wage war to the last Ukrainian,” he insisted.

The spy chief reiterated Moscow’s stance that the people of Ukraine are not the enemy. “We understand that most of the population of Ukraine are normal people, who want to live a peaceful life, but those people became both hostages and victims of the totalitarian Kiev regime, and victims of the aggressive policies of the NATO bloc,” he said.

According to Naryshkin, the US-led military alliance “poses the main threat to stability and security in Europe and beyond.”

Making sure that Ukraine officially declares itself a neutral country that will never join NATO – a development that would gravely undermine Russia’s security – has been mentioned by Moscow among the reasons for launching the military operation almost a year ago.

Russia has long insisted that the fighting in Ukraine is actually a “proxy war” waged against Moscow by Washington and its allies. Last month, the chief of the Russian General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov, said the country’s armed forces were “opposed by almost the entire collective West” in the conflict.

Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Lavrov said Russia was always ready to consider any “serious proposal” on resolving the crisis in Ukraine through diplomatic means, but the Americans have so far been unable to formulate one. The latest message from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was “stop” and “leave” Ukraine, and “then everything will be fine,” the Russian diplomat said, calling the idea unacceptable to Mosсow.