| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

Russia says Zelenskiy’s ‘preventive strike’ comments justify its Ukraine ‘special operation’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated on Friday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s suggestion that NATO launch preemptive strikes on Russia validated the need for what Russia refers to as its “special operation” in Ukraine.

“By doing so, (he) effectively provided the world with additional evidence of the threats posed by the Kyiv administration,” Lavrov said. “This is why a special military operation to neutralize them was initiated.”

In a discussion with an Australian think tank on Thursday, Zelenskiy said he believed strikes were necessary to preclude any use of nuclear weapons.

He did not go into detail about what kind of strikes he meant, and made no reference to any need for nuclear strikes.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced Zelenskiy’s comments as “an appeal to start yet another world war with unpredictable, monstrous consequences”, according to RIA news agency.

Russia launched its “special military operation” to demilitarise and “denazify” its neighbour. Ukraine and Western nations have dismissed this as a baseless pretext for invasion.

  • Reuters