The war in Ukraine is ‘unpleasant, to put it mildly’ Putin’s latest remarks from the summit in Astana
On October 14, Russian president Vladimir Putin gave a press conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, after a summit for CIS and Asian countries. He answered questions about the Russian mobilization, the possibility of negotiations with Ukraine, and the prospect of a direct clash with NATO. Meduza summarizes his main points.
We’re not planning anything additional [in terms of new waves of mobilization], the Ministry of Defense hasn’t suggested it, and I don’t see the need for the foreseeable future.
The confusion was related to older forms of registration, which haven’t been updated in decades. We only realized what state they were in after mobilization got underway. Now the database is updated and it will be as reliable as possible. The work is already wrapping up – I think that within two weeks all mobilization measures will be complete.
Mobilization itself is connected to the fact that the line of contact is 1,000 kilometers (around 680 miles), and it is practically impossible to hold it with only contract soldiers who also take part in offensive operations.
Mobilized soldiers train for five to ten days in their units. Then, depending on their military specialty, they enter combat units and train there for five to 15 days. Then they wind up with troops taking part in hostilities, and there they have some additional handling. So if you look at the minimum amount of time, it’s possible that mobilized people are already in the combat zone [and dying].
222,000 out of 300,000 men are now in service. 33,000 are assigned to units, and 16,000 are in units involved in combat missions. But if questions arise, I will instruct the Security Council to conduct an inspection.
The war in Ukraine
I want to be clear. What’s happening now is unpleasant, to put it mildly. But all the same things would have happened later, under worse conditions for us. So our actions are correct and timely.
We’re not giving ourselves the task of destroying Ukraine. Look at Crimea, 2.5 million people live there. They captured it, and cut off the water. Our troops had to go in and turn the water on. That’s just an example of the logic of our actions. If they hadn’t acted, we wouldn’t have reacted. Or take the bridge they blew up. Now we have to think 10 times over how important it is for the Russian Federation to ensure communication with Crimea across territory.
It’s not necessary right now to continue massive strikes on Ukrainian territory. Out of 29 targets, seven were not hit as the defense ministry planned, but they’re gradually getting to them.
Negotiations with Ukraine
We know Kyiv’s position – they were always talking about negotiations, requesting them, and now they’ve adopted a resolution that prohibits negotiations. What is there to talk about?
I’ve always said that we’re open to negotiations. The agreements in Istanbul were actually almost initialed! But as soon as the troops left Kyiv, that’s it, their desire to negotiate disappeared. If they grow up, let’s talk!
Possibility of war with NATO
This is an understandable question. What is defeat for Ukraine? Everyone has a different understanding. Look at Crimea, which became a subject of the Russian Federation in 2014 – was that defeat?
In any case, putting troops into direct contact, direct conflict, with the Russian army is a very dangerous step, which might lead to a global catastrophe. I hope that those who speak about it have enough good sense not to take that step.