Russia cannot co-exist with the current “regime” in Kyiv but Moscow can resist the might of NATO for as long as it needs to fully demilitarise Ukraine, a senior Russian diplomat said on Tuesday.
President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022, triggering a major European land war and the most serious confrontation between Russia and the West since the depths of the Cold War.
Including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, Russia now controls 17.5% of Ukraine’s internationally recognised territory. A Ukrainian counter-offensive has failed to make any significant gains this year against Russian forces.
“The current regime (in Kyiv) is absolutely toxic, we do not see any options for co-existence with it at the moment,” Russian Ambassador-at-Large Rodion Miroshnik told reporters in Moscow.
His post was created to collect evidence about alleged Ukrainian crimes against civilians.
Miroshnik said Ukraine had carried out crimes against civilians and had breached human rights while NATO had supplied forbidden weapons to Ukraine. Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of war crimes in Ukraine, a charge that Moscow denies.
Miroshnik said Russia could resist the U.S.-led NATO military alliance as long as was needed to defeat Ukrainian forces in what Moscow calls a “special military operation” (SMO), adding that the West would eventually lose interest and the current authorities in Kyiv would collapse.
“As soon as the danger is liquidated, this can be considered to be the achievement of the SMO’s goals,” Miroshnik said. “We can resist NATO just as much as we need to fulfill the tasks that the president has formulated.”
President Vladimir Putin presents the war as part of a much broader struggle with the United States, which the Kremlin elite says aims to cleave Russia apart, grab its vast natural resources and then turn to settling scores with China.
However the West casts Putin as a war criminal and a dictator waging an imperial-style land grab that has weakened Russia, forged a stronger sense of statehood in Ukraine and revived the NATO alliance by giving it a mission.