Putin still wants Ukraine to disappear, – Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov

Illustrative image: ukrinform.ua

Russian President Vladimir Putin has not changed his plans, as he still wants Ukraine and Ukrainians to disappear.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said this on CNN, commenting on Putin’s aim for the next weeks and months, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.

“His objective has never changed. He wants Ukraine to disappear as an independent sovereign country. He wants Ukrainians to disappear as an ethnic group, and he does not want us to be part of NATO. Therefore, he does not change his plans. He wants to open a second front to stretch our forces and disperse them. He is taking advantage of a delay in the supply of weapons to Ukraine. This is what he is doing,” Umerov said.

According to him, Ukraine is capable of defending itself: “We have a clear plan. Our strategic goal is to reach the 1991 borders. And we are trying to protect our people. We are trying to repel their attacks and resist.”

When asked about a much wider mobilization in Ukraine than it was before and the lowering of the conscription age in the country, Umerov said that the Ukrainian authorities were working to bring more people to the front.

“We also open recruitment centers and conduct training. This is a war that we need to win. That is why we need more people. We have changed the rules of mobilization. We provide the best possible training. And now there is a need to close the gaps. That is why we are conducting mobilization,” he said.

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