Russia vows to continue Ukraine operation, aiming to thwart Western 'military threat'
Russia’s Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, says his country’s military operation in neighboring Ukraine aims to thwart the "military threat created by Western countries."
Addressing a televised press conference on Tuesday, Shoigu declared that the Russian armed forces will continue the special military operation until the “goals are achieved”.
Defending the military intervention that has whipped up a storm across the world, Shoigu said Moscow aims to "demilitarize and de-Nazify" Ukraine, and protect Russia from a "military threat created by Western countries."
His remarks came as Russia’s military campaign in the former Soviet republic entered its sixth day.
Satellite images released by the US space technology company Maxar purportedly showed a 64-kilometre-long convoy of armored vehicles, tanks, and other military equipment advancing toward Kiev.
‘Belarus has no plan to join Russia's military campaign’
On Tuesday, Belarusian state news agency Belta quoted the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko as saying that his country had no plans to take part in Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
Lukashenko also denied claims made by Kiev that Russian troops were attacking Ukraine from Belarus' territory.
Russian President Vladimir Putin last Thursday announced a “special military operation” aimed at “demilitarization” of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine.
The regions broke away from Ukraine in 2014 after refusing to recognize a Western-backed Ukrainian government that had overthrown a democratically-elected pro-Moscow administration.
More than 14,000 people have been killed in the restive regions due to protracted conflict between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists.
Announcing the operation, Putin said the mission was aimed at “defending people who for eight years are suffering persecution and genocide by the Kiev regime.”
Russia rejects US claims
Russia's ambassador in Washington repeated his remarks on Monday, saying Moscow "totally rejected" the US claims.
"This is a hostile move against our country," Anatoly Antonov said on Facebook, adding Washington had once again failed to "fulfill its obligations” to ensure normal conditions for the functioning of foreign missions to the UN.
"Washington's acts are neither aimed at calming the scene on the international front, nor maintaining bilateral relations between two great powers at a level necessary for peace and international security," he said.