Putin's deputy chief says Russia fighting NATO in Ukraine

Putin's deputy chief says Russia fighting NATO in Ukraine

Putin's deputy chief-of- staff has claimed that Russia is fighting NATO in Ukraine, not Ukraine itself.

Sergey Kirienko, the deputy head of the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Ukraine's leadership sold out its own people to fight on behalf of NATO against Russia. He said that Western nations are happy to see Ukrainians die as long as it serves their interests.

We understand that we are not fighting against Ukraine in the Ukrainian territory, and certainly not against the Ukrainian people. Kirienko said in a speech on Wednesday that the entire NATO bloc is at war with Russia in Ukraine with Ukrainians hands.

He blamed Kiev's government for the violence, accusing it of allowing the country and its people to be sacrificed in a fundamental confrontation of the Western community against Russia. Kirienko spoke at a forum for young Russian political scientists, which was launched in the Moscow Region this week. He told attendees that it will be up to them to find new ideas and narratives to help the country take a prominent place in the future world, the shape of which is determined by the ongoing conflict.

The Russian-West stand-off goes far beyond the kinetic conflict in Ukraine, the official said. The US and its allies on Moscow and info-psychological attacks directed at it are essential parts of the conflict, he noted.

Moscow s opponents miscalculated when they decided on their response to Russian military action in Ukraine, Kirienko said, citing classified Western documents.

In early March they seriously debated whether they needed five million protesting in the Russian streets or should they go for ten million and when to expect that: by the end of March or in mid-April at the latest, he said. He said that Russia would be too busy to defend its geostrategic interests when facing the anticipated protests.

Kirienko advised against relaxing, saying that pressure on Russia will remain high and may become more efficient. Moscow's opponents are smart and competent people who can learn from their mistakes, he said.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev's failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by France and Germany, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has admitted that Kiev's main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and create powerful armed forces. In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked.