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Russian President Vladimir Putin He claimed on Wednesday that Moscow’s war objectives in Ukraine would be “unconditionally achieved” despite discussions this week among Ukraine’s allies to increase the Kyiv government’s weapons support in the fighting.
Speaking to the Russian parliament, Putin said, “I want to emphasize once again that all the tasks of the special military operation that we are conducting in Donbass and Ukrainewhich was launched on February 24, will be fulfilled unconditionally.”
This would “guarantee the security of residents” of the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine whose independence was recognized by Russia shortly before the start of its military action in Ukraine, as well as Crimea – which Russia annexed in 2014 – “the entire country from a historical perspective,” he said.
The announcements will come a day later Dozens of defense ministers gathered at the US Air Force base in Ramstein in Germany As for the meeting, which Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin later told Fox News, “it’s all about making sure we can continue to provide Ukraine with what it needs to succeed in combat today.”
“They’re going to need different kinds of things to be able to shape the fight a little better,” Austin told Fox News National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin, referring to the terrain in southern and eastern Ukraine. “So, we’re looking at long-range artillery, tanks, armored vehicles, and those kinds of things.”
On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Putin met privately for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine, and the United Nations said it had agreed to arrange evacuations from a besieged steel plant in the stricken city of Mariupol.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the Russian leader and the secretary-general discussed “proposals for humanitarian assistance and the evacuation of civilians from conflict areas, in particular regarding the situation in Mariupol”.
He said they also agreed in principle that the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross should be involved in evacuating civilians from the Azovstal steel complex as Ukrainian defenders are taking a stand in the southeastern city.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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