Russia said on Friday that it will not enter into any talks until Ukraine stops its resistance against its invasion.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated at a news conference in Moscow that Russia rejected any talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, admitting openly that his country was trying to oust Ukraine’s democratically-elected government. He went on to state that the Ukrainian government was steered by “neo-Nazis” and the West.
The New York Times reported that Lavrov stated “We do not see the possibility of recognizing as democratic a government that persecutes and uses methods of genocide against its own people.”
Russia – Ukraine conflict caused by “NeoNazis,” Washington, Lavrov says
The “neo-Nazi” trope is commonly trotted out by Moscow when it wants to demonize another country or individuals. However, another Russian official also said that the ugly conflict — the first state-against-state war in Europe since WWII — would be over soon.
The head of Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, Sergei Naryshkin, stated in an address on Russian television “Russia cannot allow Ukraine to become a dagger raised above us in the hands of Washington. The special military operation will restore peace in Ukraine within a short amount of time and prevent a potential larger conflict in Europe.”
An ongoing Russian disinformation and campaign charges inaccurately that “neo-Nazis” who are controlling the government of Ukraine are perpetrating a “genocide” against Russian speakers there.
“Russia on Friday rejected talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and made it clear that it was seeking to topple his democratically elected government” https://t.co/hXoD7YNlG5
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) February 25, 2022
President Vladimir Putin had stated on Thursday that the purpose of Russia’s invasion was to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine. Lavrov’s Friday remarks doubled down on those claims.
“What we’re talking about is preventing Nazis and those who push methods of genocide to rule in this country,” Lavrov said, adding “Right now, the regime that is located in Kyiv is under two mechanisms of external control: first, the West, led by the United States, and secondly, neo-Nazis.”
Continuing his dizzying recitation of how Russia sees events unfolding in Ukraine, Lavrov went on to say that his country would be prepared to enter negotiations only when Ukraine stopped resisting the invasion.
“We are ready for talks at any moment, as soon as the Ukrainian Armed Forces answer the call of our president to stop their resistance and put down their arms,” Lavrov said. Earlier on Friday, Russian forces massacred an entire unit of Ukrainian soldiers who were guarding a tiny island in the Black Sea after they refused to surrender.
Lavrov also told the press that Russia was not bombing civilian targets in Ukraine and that it was attempting to limit casualties in the Ukrainian military itself.
“No strikes against civilian infrastructure are being carried out,” the Russian foreign minister declared, adding “No strikes are being carried out on locations of Ukrainian army personnel in dormitories or other places not associated with military facilities.”
So far, however, the United Nations says that the fighting in Ukraine this week had caused at least 127 civilian casualties, including 25 fatalieis; however, it added that the actual toll was likely a great deal higher.