MOSCOW, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Russia cannot coexist with the current “regime” in Kiev, a senior Russian official said on Tuesday, reaffirming the goals of what President Vladimir Putin calls a special military operation aimed at “demilitarizing ” Ukraine.
Putin sent troops to Ukraine in February 2022, sparking a war in Europe and the most serious confrontation between Russia and the West since the depths of the Cold War.
“The current regime (in Kiev) is absolutely toxic, we see no option for coexistence with it at the moment,” Russian Ambassador-at-Large Rodion Miroshnik told reporters in Moscow.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has ruled out any talks with Putin, while leaving the door open for negotiations with Russia.
Miroshnik’s post was created to collect evidence of alleged Ukrainian crimes against civilians. Moscow also faces allegations from kyiv and its allies that Russian forces committed war crimes in Ukraine. Moscow denies these allegations.
Miroshnik, a former official of the self-proclaimed separatist “Luhansk People’s Republic” administration in Russia-backed eastern Ukraine, accused Ukrainian forces of committing crimes against civilians in areas which Moscow now claims to have annexed.
Ukraine is conducting its own investigations into alleged Russian war crimes on its territory and accuses Moscow of deliberately targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure in airstrikes. Russia denies it.
A UN-mandated body documented war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, and the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin for the illegal expulsion of hundreds of children from Ukraine.
Russia, which does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, has rejected the allegations against Putin.
Miroshnik said Russia could resist NATO for as long as necessary to defeat Ukrainian forces and that the West would eventually lose interest, which would mean the collapse of Kiev’s leadership. kyiv says it will continue fighting until the last Russian soldier has left its territory, and its Western allies have said they will continue to support Ukraine.
Reuters reporting, editing by Guy Faulconbridge, Gareth Jones and Timothy Heritage
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