DONETSK, February 28. /TASS/. The surrendered Ukrainian servicemen confirm that Kiev planned a large-scale offensive in Donbass, Deputy Head of the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Eduard Basurin said in a live broadcast on the Rossiya-24 TV Channel on Monday.
The Ukrainian servicemen who have switched to the side of the Donetsk People’s Republic “confirm that they were given a command to prepare for large-scale combat operations,” Basurin said.
“The special operation [by Russia] was very timely and we acted ahead of time,” he stressed.
“Had we not done this, there would have been more casualties among civilians,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on the morning of February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people “who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years.” The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.
When clarifying the unfolding developments, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.