With a grin, Putin warns Ukraine: The war can get more serious

With a grin, Putin warns Ukraine: The war can get more serious

Russia hit Ukrainian infrastructure in response – including a reservoir dam and electricity supplies – and Putin said those attacks could get worse.

“Recently, the Russian armed forces have inflicted a couple of sensitive blows. Let’s assume they’re a warning. If the situation continues to develop like this, then the response will be more serious,” he said.

Putin also said Russia was gradually taking control of new areas of Ukraine.

Asked if what he calls the “special military operation” needed correction, he said: “The plan is not subject to adjustment.”

“The General Staff considers one thing important, another thing secondary – but the main task remains unchanged, and it is being implemented,” Putin said. “The main goal is the liberation of the entire territory of Donbas.”

The Donbas comprises two largely Russian-speaking provinces of eastern Ukraine – Luhansk, which is now fully under the control of Russian and Russian-backed separatist forces, and Donetsk, which they partially control.

However, Russia now occupies around a fifth of Ukraine in all, including much of the southerly Zaporizhzhia and Kherson provinces, in addition to Crimea, which it seized in 2014 and considers part of Russia.

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