Russian President Vladimir Putin raised an already sharp tone, saying that the situation in eastern Ukraine was “akin to genocide”.
Thursday’s statement came close to US President Joe Biden’s planned talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and leaders of some countries on the Russian border who are concerned about the Kremlin’s military escalation.
On Thursday, Putin held a meeting with the Russian presidential council and was asked there about discrimination against Russian speakers outside Russia’s borders.
– I must say that fear of Russia is the first step towards genocide, answered the Russian President.
– You and I know what is happening in the Donbass, he continued, referring to one of the conflict areas in eastern Ukraine.
– It sure feels like genocide.
The United States and its allies recently accused Russia of plotting to invade its neighbor Ukraine – a charge that Russia denied.
Earlier this week, Putin and Biden held a digital summit. The Ukraine issue was high on the agenda, and according to Biden, he told Putin that very harsh economic sanctions were expected if Russia attacked Ukraine.
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