Lavrov: We Did Not Invade Ukraine, We Declared a Special Operation
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke to the British BBC television. Emphasizing that Russia did not invade Ukraine, Lavrov said, “We declared a special military operation because there was absolutely no other way to explain to the West that dragging Ukraine into NATO is a crime.”
Answering Steve Rosenberg’s questions in a speech he gave to the UK-based BBC television, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made evaluations about the special operation launched about four months ago.
Emphasizing that Russia did not invade Ukraine, the Russian minister said, “We declared a special military operation because there was absolutely no other way to explain to the West that dragging Ukraine into NATO is a crime.”
‘Russia is not immaculate and we are not afraid to show who we are’
Reminding the report published by the United Nations (UN) on the situation in Yahidna village in Chernihiv region of Ukraine, which included the allegations that ‘360 residents, including 74 children and 5 disabled people, were forced to stay in the basement of a school by the Russian armed forces and 10 people died there’. “Does that mean fighting the Nazis?” Rosenberg asked.
Lavrov answered the question as follows:
“It’s a shame. But international diplomats, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Secretary-General and other UN representatives, are pressured by the West and often used to spread fake news spread by the West. Russia is not clean. Russia is russia and we’re not afraid to show who we are.”
Speaking about the approach of European leaders to the Ukraine crisis, Lavrov said, “I don’t even think there is room for maneuver anymore. Because both (British Prime Minister Boris) Johnson and (British Foreign Minister Liz) Truss openly said, ‘We need to beat Russia, we need to bring Russia to its knees.’ they say this, so come on, do it.”
In response to the question of how Russia views the UK, Lavrov said that London ‘once again sacrificed the interests of its people for its political ambitions’.
Recalling the British mercenaries Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, who were captured in Mariupol, Donetsk People’s Republic, and sentenced to death in the court they were brought to, the Russian Minister responded to the statements that “Russia is responsible for the fate of the two British soldiers in the eyes of the West”.
“I am not at all interested in the eyes of the West. I am only interested in international law. Under international law, mercenaries are not considered combatants.”
Lavrov accused the BBC channel of not reflecting the truth about what was happening in the region while civilians were bombarded by Ukrainian soldiers for 8 years in the west of Ukraine, while Rosenberg claimed that he contacted the separatist leaders to interview but was not allowed to enter the region.