Putin said Russia “does not aim to destroy all of Ukraine” and does not need more massive strikes on the country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, Oct. 14
“Right now there is no need for massive strikes [on Ukraine]. For now there are other tasks, because, I believe, out of 29 targets, [only] 7 were not hit as the ministry of defence planned,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told a news conference after the summit in Kazakhstan. “We do not aim to destroy the whole of Ukraine.”
Putin’s comments came after the Russian military launched a massive airstrike with missiles, rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) targeting Ukraine’s military command and energy infrastructure.
Ukrainian officials acknowledged that 30 percent of the country’s energy infrastructure was hit by Russian missiles, prompting Kiev to suspend electricity exports and urge the public to save energy.
Putin also accused Ukraine of blocking the waters of Crimea, where 2.4 million people live. “Our servicemen have reopened the water supply to the Crimean peninsula. If Ukraine exercises restraint and does not block water sources, no retaliatory action will occur,” Putin said.
Putin said Russia was “doing everything right” in Ukraine. “What happening today is not pleasant,” Putin said, adding that if Russia had not launched its military operation in February, “ But we would have had all this a little later, only under worse conditions for us, that’s all. So my actions are correct and timely.”
The Russian leader also acknowledged the concerns of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) allies around the conflict in Ukraine, as well as the future of relations between Moscow and Kiev. Putin said this “does not affect in any way” relations between the CIS countries and Russia.
Asked about the possibility of talks with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the G20 summit, scheduled for November, Putin said that “we should ask if he is ready for such talks with me, but honestly, I see no need.”
The Russian president said there were no plans to extend the partial mobilization order issued on September 21, which aims to mobilize 300,000 conscripts.
“I have not received any proposals from the Defense Ministry and see no additional needs in the near future,” Putin said, adding that 220,000 people had already joined the army. “ I think, in about two weeks, all mobilization measures will be over.”