Vladimir Putin stated that Russia had no choice but to invade Ukraine.
Russia’s president made a rare public appearance after his forces invaded Ukraine in Feb.
Putin’s apparent ambition to take over the Ukrainian capital Kyiv was thwarted. He is now building forces for a new offensive within the eastern Donbas region and insists that his campaign will continue until it achieves its goals.
He also stated that Russia would launch a lunar probe in the latter part of this year.
On the 61st anniversary Yuri Gagarin’s first space flight, Russia’s Far East visited the Vostochny Spaceport. Putin recalled Soviet achievements and stated that sanctions would not slow down the progress.
He said that inflation and rising petrol and food prices in the West will also put pressure on politicians. However, he added that “time” will put everything back in its right place.
Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, one of Putin’s few remaining friends, was there with him as he promised to be closer with Belarus in space infrastructure and technology.
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Recent public appearances by the Russian leader have been very limited.
He spoke out publicly for the first time in public since the withdrawal of his forces from northern Ukraine and said that Russia must fight to defend the Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine.
When asked by workers from the space agency if they believed that the operation in Ukraine would succeed, Putin replied: “Absolutely.” “I don’t have any doubt whatsoever.”
The president stated, “Its goals were absolutely clear and noble.” “It is certain that the goals are achievable.”
He said that Russia’s invading forces had imposed crippling sanctions on the West.
These penalties can include restrictions on scientific cooperation and funding.
After the offensive started on February 24, Putin remained largely silent, making only a few TV appearances. He has used these appearances to praise Russia’s military and to claim that everything was going according to plan, despite all evidence.
He laid a wreath last Friday at the funeral for the ultranationalist Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky. According to reports, he was accompanied by an aide who reportedly carried Russia’s nuclear weapons codes or “nuclear soccer” aides.
Before that, Putin was also present on 18 March to mark the official eighth anniversary of Russia’s annexe of Crimea.
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The key developments in the war against Ukraine:
* President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine has asked for more weapons from West, especially for defense of Mariupol
* Karl Nehammer, the Austrian Chancellor, met Putin to warn him that an offensive in Ukraine’s east was being prepared “on a large scale”.
* There are still allegations of executions, rapes and other war crimes in the areas around Kyiv where the Russians have pulled out in recent week. These are both Western and Ukrainian provocations, Russia claims
* Reuters data indicates that while most Western countries have increased sanctions against Russia, India – attracted by huge discounts – has bought more Russian crude oil than it did last year.
At the cosmodrome located 3,450 miles (5.550km) east from Moscow, Putin stated that Russia would create a new generation of transport spaceships and technologies for nuclear power in space.
He stated that it would launch Luna-25, a lunar probe, in the third quarter this year, and also promised that Roskosmos, Russia’s space agency, would train a Belarusian pilot to fly on one of its missions.