New Delhi: Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has resumed after the country’s leadership declined to negotiate, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday, RT reported.
President Vladimir Putin previously ordered the Russian troops to halt their advance on Friday, awaiting a response from Kiev, Moscow said. It added that the offensive continued on Saturday, RT reported.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that he was ready to sit down for talks with Russia in order to end hostilities between the countries.
The same day, Peskov told reporters that Moscow was ready to hold talks in Minsk, Belarus. He later claimed that the Ukrainian side first offered to move the meeting to Warsaw, Poland, and then stopped responding.
Russia began its military operation in Ukraine on early Thursday morning. Announcing the move, Putin rolled out a long list of grievances regarding the state of Russian-Ukrainian relations, which went downhill after the 2014 coup it Kiev. The Russian leader said Moscow aims to defend the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as to carry out “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine.
Putin previously said that Ukraine must never join NATO, whose military infrastructure Moscow sees as a threat.
There have been reports of shelling and firefights in Kiev and elsewhere in Ukraine on Saturday morning. Both sides have accused each other of killing civilians, RT reported.