Putin Says Russia Will Fight On

'We aren't in a rush' in Ukraine, Russian president says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 16, 2022 5:05 PM CDT
Putin: 'We Aren't in a Rush' in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, speaks to Chinese President Xi on Friday.   (Sergei Bobylev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Friday to press his attack on Ukraine despite Ukraine's latest counteroffensive and warned that Moscow could ramp up its strikes on the country's vital infrastructure if facilities in Russia are targeted. Speaking to reporters Friday after attending a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan, Putin said that the "liberation" of Ukraine's entire eastern Donbas region remained Russia's main military goal and that he sees no need to revise it. "We aren't in a rush," the Russian leader said, per the AP.

So far, Putin said, Russia has deployed only volunteers in Ukraine. Some hardline politicians and military bloggers have urged the Kremlin to follow Ukraine's example and order a broad mobilization, lamenting Russia's manpower shortage. Russia was forced to pull back from large swaths of northeastern Ukraine last week after a swift Ukrainian counteroffensive. Ukraine's move to reclaim control of several Russian-occupied cities and villages marked the largest military setback for Moscow since its forces had to retreat from areas near the capital early in the war. In his first comment on the counteroffensive, Putin said: "Let's see how it develops and how it ends." He noted that Ukraine has tried to strike civilian infrastructure in Russia and that "we so far have responded with restraint," adding, "If the situation develops this way, our response will be more serious."

Speaking to reporters Friday after meeting the day before with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Putin said the two discussed what to do to counter sanctions imposed by the West. The European Union, the US and other Western nations have put sanctions on Russian energy due to the war in Ukraine. In a statement released by his government, Xi expressed support for Russia's "core interests" but also interest in working together to "inject stability" into world affairs. China's relations with Washington, Europe, Japan, and India have been strained by disputes about technology, security, human rights, and territory. Zhang Lihua, an international relations expert at Tsinghua University, said the reference to stability "is mainly related to China-US relations,” adding that "the United States has been using all means to suppress China, which forced China to seek cooperation with Russia."

(Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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