1: russian president vladimir putin has denied any involvement in the war in ukraine, claiming that the conflict is the result of the policy of third countries and not down to russian policy. putin has also suggested that the west has “brainwashed” post-soviet republics, starting with ukraine. ukrainian leader volodmyr zelensky has recently travelled to the us capitol in washington in his first visit outside of ukraine since the russian invasion 10 months ago.
2: putin has offered loans and cheap energy to ukraine, but it did not work. russia is now willing to spend an unlimited amount of money and defence minister sergei shoigu has proposed raising the age range for mandatory russian military service from 18-27 to 21-30. shoigu has also announced plans to establish bases in two port cities – berdyansk and mariupol – seized during the russian offensive.
3: putin has said that there is nothing to accuse russia of and that they have always seen ukrainians as a “brotherly people”. the theory that western expansion is the cause of the conflict has been repeatedly dismissed outside russia. despite this, russia is continuing the so-called “special military operation” into 2023, showing that the conflict is far from over.