Russia's military operation in Ukraine deliberately slows down civilian casualties, says Defense Minister

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Russia's military operation in Ukraine deliberately slows down civilian casualties, says Defense Minister

Defense Minister says that the move is intentional and allows civilians to evacuate.

The slowdown of Russia's military operation in Ukraine is intended to evacuate the population and avoid civilian casualties, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu insisted on Tuesday.

Russia s Armed Forces are creating humanitarian corridors and announcing ceasefires to ensure the safe evacuation of residents from encircled settlements, he explained, despite this approach stalling the progress of the country s forces.

He stated at a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization CSTO Council of Defense MinistersDefense Ministers that this slows down the pace of the offensive, but it is deliberately done to avoid civilian casualties.

Shoigu outlined that Russian troops are not carrying out strikes on civilian infrastructure where there may be people nearby, unlike the Armed Forces of UkraineArmed Forces of Ukraine. He said Ukrainian military facilities and identified firing positions are being hit with high-precision weapons.

The defense minister also claimed that Western countries fearing the defeat of Kiev's forces are expediting shipments of lethal aid to Ukraine and sending additional military advisers and personnel from private military companies, and that there are already over 6,000 foreign mercenaries in the country.

Despite the punitive sanctions on Moscow and the extensive help provided to Kiev by the West, Shoigu maintained that Russia will continue its special operation until all its objectives are achieved.

He said that the current situation in Ukraine was the result of the West refusing to take into account Russia's proposals to resolve key issues regarding its national security concerns, including the cessation of NATO's expansion to the east and the non-deployment of strike weapons near Russia's borders.

Everything was done the other way around. He said that the United States set a course for the complete dismantling of the existing international security architecture, as well as the global deployment of an anti-missile defense system and the development of medium-range and shorter-range missile systems, and that NATO was right on Russia's doorstep.

Shoigu said that the US-led bloc had intensified its efforts to get Ukraine to join and deploy coalition military infrastructure on its territory, and turned the country hostile to Moscow.

Russia attacked its neighboring state in late February, after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to retake the two republics by force.