The US on Friday taunted Russian President Vladimir Putin to face reality and withdraw troops from Ukraine after finally declaring the conflict a “war”.
Since Putin ordered the invasion in February, Russia has officially spoken of a “special military operation” and enacted a law criminalizing what officials call misleading terminology.
But at a press conference on Thursday, Putin himself used the word “war” as he said he hoped it would end as soon as possible.
“Since February 24, the United States and the rest of the world knew that Putin’s ‘special military operation’ was an unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine. Finally, after 300 days, Putin called the war for what it is,” said a State Department spokesman. .
“As the next step to recognize reality, we ask him to end this war by withdrawing his forces from Ukraine.”
The State Department said that regardless of Putin’s terminology, “Russia’s aggression against its sovereign neighbor has resulted in death, destruction and displacement.”
“The people of Ukraine certainly find little solace in Putin’s stating the obvious, nor do the thousands of Russian families whose relatives have been killed in Putin’s war.”
Earlier this month a Russian court sentenced an opposition politician, Ilya Yashin, to eight and a half years in prison under the new law for “false information” about the war.
Yashin spoke of a “massacre” in Buchan, a town near the Ukrainian capital Kiev, where the bullet-riddled bodies of Ukrainians dressed as civilians were found with their hands tied behind their backs after Russian forces retreated.
Nikita Yuferev, an opposition lawmaker critical of the invasion, said on Friday he was seeking legal action against Putin for spreading “fake news” over his “war” reference.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)
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