Russia says 'liberation' of Donbas its key priority

Russia says
# 30 May 2022 11:31 (UTC +04:00)

The "liberation" of eastern Ukraine's Donbas region is an "unconditional priority" for Russia, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said in an interview, APA reports citing BBC.

Defending Russia's ongoing military operation more than three months after it invaded, he said again it was aimed at "demilitarising" its neighbor.

He repeated the Kremlin's widely ridiculed line that Russia is fighting a "neo-Nazi regime".

And he denied speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin was ill.

The man who has dominated Russia for more than two decades turns 70 in October.

Noting that President Putin regularly appeared in public, Mr. Lavrov told TF1: "I don't think that sane people can see in this person signs of some kind of illness or ailment."

Asked about the human cost of the fighting, which has seen devastating artillery and rocket attacks on some urban areas, he insisted Russian soldiers were "under strict orders categorically to avoid attacks and strikes on civilian infrastructure".

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED