OAN Shannon Kelland
UPDATED 1:57 PM PT – Friday, December 23, 2022
President Vladimir Putin for the first time has addressed the conflict in Ukraine as a “war” on Thursday.
Putin commented the day after United States President Joe Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Biden had promised the Ukrainian leader the United States’ continued steadfast support.
“Our goal is not to spin the flywheel of military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war. We will strive for an end to this, and the sooner the better, of course,” said Putin.
In the past months, Putin has termed the invasion a “special military operation.”
In March, laws were made to prosecute individuals that would call the actions “war.” If prosecuted, the individuals would be subject to steep fines and jail terms for spreading “deliberately false information” about the armed forces.
These laws made by Putin has caused Russian politicians, Ilya Yashin and Alexei Gorinov, to have been sentenced to several years of jail time for “spreading false information” and criticizing the invasions.
Nikita Yuferev, an opposition councilor asked prosecutors to investigate the Russian President for using the word “war” to describe the conflict in Ukraine, referencing that he broke his own law.
Yuferev had previously drawn authorities’ attention Sergei Kiriyenko, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration, and leading lawmaker Sergei Mironov for doing the same.
“War, in Russian society, is a frightening word. Everyone is brought up by grandparents who lived through World War Two, everyone remembers the saying ‘Anything but war’,” Yuferev said.
Russia has persistently said that they are willing to negotiate. However, Ukraine and its allies suspect this to be a tactic to buy time. White House spokesman John Kirby agrees with Ukraine’s position about Putin “wanting” to negotiate.
“Quite the contrary, everything he (Putin) is doing on the ground and in the air bespeaks a man who wants to continue to visit violence upon the Ukrainian people,” said Kirby.
Putin also down played the capability of the Patriot air defense system that U.S. agreed to supply to Zelensky. Putin claimed that it is “quite old” and did not work like Russia’s S-300 system.
“An antidote will always be found, so those who do it are doing it in vain. It’s just prolonging the conflict, that’s all,” he jabbed at the United States.