Fri, 14 October 2022 at 7:09 pm
(Bloomberg) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said he has no regrets about the invasion of Ukraine, now well into its eighth month, and that Moscow’s aim isn’t to “destroy” its neighbor. The controversial mobilization of some 300,000 reservists is almost complete, Putin told reporters in Kazakhstan.
Putin also said a direct clash with NATO troops would be catastrophic and that no further mass strikes are planned “for now,” days after missiles hit cities across the country in retaliation for a strike on a key bridge in Crimea. Russia’s leader said he doesn’t see a “need” for talks with US President Joe Biden at next month’s Group of 20 summit.
NATO allies must press ahead with support for Ukraine while taking Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons seriously, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said. The Kremlin vowed to repair a crucial bridge from the Russian mainland to Crimea by July 2023.
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On the Ground
Ukraine’s troops continue to push ahead in the Kherson region, where some 1,200 square kilometers including dozens of settlements have been liberated. Heavy fighting continues in the Bakhmut and Avdiyivka regions of Donetsk, said Serhiy Cherevatiy, spokesman of the “East” command. Russia struck the city of Zaporizhzhia with three S-300 missiles early on Friday, damaging infrastructure, regional authorities said on Telegram. Moscow’s troops are focusing on attempts to reach the administrative border of the Donetsk region and hold ground in occupied areas of the Kherson, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv regions, according to Ukraine’s General Staff.