Taking part in the meeting were Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin, and Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology, and Transport Sergei Ivanov.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
Today, we will discuss the course of the special military operation in Ukraine. As expected, the Russian Army’s main armed clashes are taking place not with regular Ukrainian armed forces’ units but with nationalist groups that, as we know, bear direct responsibility for the genocide in Donbass and the spilled blood of the citizens of the people’s republics.
Besides, the nationalist elements that infiltrated regular Ukrainian armed forces’ units are not only prompting them to armed resistance but are actually playing the role of anti-retreat units.
Moreover, according to available information, and this is confirmed by objective monitoring – we are seeing this; Banderites and neo-Nazis are putting up heavy weapons, including multiple-rocket launchers, right in the central districts of large cities, including Kiev and Kharkov. They plan to force return fire by Russian strike systems against residential quarters. In effect, they are acting in the same way that terrorists act all over the world – using people as shields in the hope of accusing Russia of civilian casualties.
It is known for a fact that all this is being done on the recommendations of foreign consultants, primarily American advisors.
Once again, I am appealing to the military of the armed forces of Ukraine. Do not allow neo-Nazis and Banderites to use your children, wives and elders as a live shield. Take power into your own hands. It seems it will be easier for us to come to terms with you than with this gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis that have settled in Kiev and that have taken the Ukrainian people hostage.
I would also like to give the highest praise to the actions of Russian soldiers and officers. They are acting courageously, professionally and heroically, fulfilling their combat duty. They are resolving a vital task to ensure the security of our people and our homeland.