Russia’s top diplomat said Moscow’s overarching goal in Ukraine is to free its people from its “unacceptable regime,” expressing the Kremlin’s war aims in some of the bluntest terms yet as its forces pummel the country with artillery barrages and airstrikes.
The remark from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov comes amid Ukraine’s efforts to resume grain exports from its Black Sea ports, something that would help ease global food shortages, under a new deal tested by a Russian strike on Odesa over the weekend.
Speaking to envoys at an Arab League summit in Cairo late Sunday, Lavrov accused Kyiv and its Western allies of spouting propaganda intended to ensure that Ukraine “becomes the eternal enemy of Russia.”
“We are determined to help the people of eastern Ukraine to liberate themselves from the burden of this absolutely unacceptable regime,” he said. Apparently suggesting that Moscow’s war aims extend beyond Ukraine’s industrial Donbas region in the east, Lavrov said: “We will certainly help the Ukrainian people to get rid of the regime, which is absolutely anti-people and anti-historical.”
Lavrov’s comments followed his warning last week that Russia plans to retain control over broader areas beyond eastern Ukraine, including the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions in the south, and will make more gains elsewhere. [Continue reading…]