RUSSIA,UKRAINE: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that any attempt by Western nations to impose a No-Fly Zone in Ukraine would be tantamount to entering the conflict.
Putin reiterated that his aims in Ukraine are to defend Russian speaking communities through the “demilitarisation and de-Nazification” of the country so that it becomes neutral.
Putin was speaking as Russian troops advanced on a third nuclear power plant, having already taken control of one of the four operating in the country and the closed plant in Chernobyl, Zelenskyy told U.S. lawmakers.
He said any attempt by another power to impose a No-Fly Zone in Ukraine would be considered by Russia to be a step into the military conflict. NATO has rejected Kyiv’s request for a No-Fly Zone, on the grounds it would escalate the war beyond Ukraine.
Putin dismissed concerns that some sort of Martial Law or Emergency situation could be declared in Russia. He said such a measure was imposed only when there was significant internal or external threat.
“We don’t plan to introduce any kind of special regime on Russian territory – there is currently no need,” Putin said.
Ukraine and Western countries have dismissed this as a baseless pretext for the invasion he launched on February 24 and have imposed a sweeping range of sanctions aimed at isolating Moscow. Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded with the lawmakers for additional help, specifically fighter planes to help secure the skies over Ukraine, even as he insisted Russia was being defeated.“We’re inflicting losses on the occupants they could not see in their worst nightmare,” Zelenskyy said.
Russian troops took control of the southern port city of Kherson this week. Although they have encircled Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv and Sumy, Ukrainian forces have managed to keep control of key cities in central and southeastern Ukraine, Zelenskyy said Saturday.
– THE HINDUSTAN TIMES