the battle can get extra severe By Reuters

© Reuters. Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a gathering with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Group (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 16, 2022. Sputnik/Alexander Demyanchuk/Pool through REUTERS

SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin on Friday dismissed a lightning Ukrainian counter-offensive with a smile however warned that Russia would reply extra forcefully if its troops had been put underneath additional strain.

Talking after a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation within the Uzbek metropolis of Samarkand, Putin forged the invasion as a obligatory step to stop what he stated was a Western plot to interrupt Russia aside.

Moscow, he stated, was in no hurry in Ukraine. And its targets remained unchanged.

“The Kiev authorities introduced that they’ve launched and are conducting an lively counter-offensive operation. Properly, let’s have a look at the way it develops, the way it finally ends up,” Putin stated with a smile.

It was his first public touch upon a rout of his forces in northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv area every week in the past that has prompted unusually sturdy public criticism from Russian army commentators.

Russia hit Ukrainian infrastructure in response – together with a reservoir dam and electrical energy provides – and Putin stated these assaults might worsen.

“Just lately, the Russian armed forces have inflicted a few delicate blows. Let’s assume they are a warning. If the scenario continues to develop like this, then the response can be extra severe,” he stated.

Putin additionally stated Russia was regularly taking management of recent areas of Ukraine.

Requested if what he calls the “particular army operation” wanted correction, he stated: “The plan is just not topic to adjustment.”

“The Normal Workers considers one factor vital, one other factor secondary – however the primary process stays unchanged, and it’s being applied,” Putin stated. “The principle purpose is the liberation of your entire territory of Donbas.”

The Donbas contains two largely Russian-speaking provinces of japanese Ukraine – Luhansk, which is now totally underneath the management of Russian and Russian-backed separatist forces, and Donetsk, which they partially management.

Nevertheless, Russia now occupies round a fifth of Ukraine in all, together with a lot of the southerly Zaporizhzhia and Kherson provinces, along with Crimea, which it seized in 2014 and considers a part of Russia.

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