Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed confidence the country's special military operation in Ukraine will achieve its intended result, as the campaign in the former Soviet state drags on for more than two months.
Russia’s TASS news agency cited Putin as making the remark in a speech on Monday after overseeing the annual military parade on Moscow's Red Square to mark the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two.
"All plans are being fulfilled. The result will be achieved - on that account there is no doubt," the Russian leader was quoted as saying.
"Russia would have used any opportunity to iron out the situation in Ukraine by peaceful means, but it had not been given any chance to do this," he said.
"If there had been at least one chance to solve this issue by other, peaceful means, we would have certainly used this chance. But we were not given this chance, simply not," the Russian president added.
Around 11,000 soldiers participated in the parade on Moscow's Red Square. Military parades also took place in Vladivostok and Novosibirsk.
The Soviet Union lost about 27 million people in World War II, more than any other country.
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Putin said one of the goals of the military operation was to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.
Western countries have responded to the Russian military campaign by backing Ukraine with cash and increasingly heavy weaponry while imposing sanctions against Moscow.
The conflict in Ukraine has killed thousands of people and displaced more than 13 million, creating the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.
Russia: Peace talks with Ukraine continue remotely
Meanwhile, the Interfax news agency reported Russian chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky as saying on Monday that peace talks with Ukraine had not stopped and were being held remotely.
Asked when in-person talks might be held with Ukrainian negotiators, Medinsky said, "We need more specifics on hand in order to meet in person."
Ukraine and Russia have not held face-to-face peace talks since March 29, though they have met by video link.
Moscow has accused Kiev of stalling the peace talks and using reports of alleged atrocities committed by Russian troops in Ukraine to undermine negotiations. Russia has vehemently denied targeting civilians in its special military operation.
Ukraine’s US-made radar system destroyed
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday its forces had destroyed a US-made counter-battery radar station near the eastern Ukrainian town of Zolote.
"High-precision air-based missiles of the Russian Aerospace Forces have destroyed two command posts and one battery of Ukrainian Grad multiple rocket launchers near Popasna; 18 military personnel and equipment concentration areas near Lysychansk; one counter-battery radio detection station manufactured in the US near Zolote," the ministry's spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said.
The United States and other NATO allies have been supplying heavy weapons to help Ukraine against the Russian military campaign.
Russia had warned in April that it views the transport of weapons by the United States and NATO in Ukraine as ‘legitimate’ military targets, warning of harsh response in case of any attempts by the West to threaten Russia’s military.
“We are warning that US-NATO weapons transports across Ukrainian territory will be considered by us as legal military targets,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with TASS, warning that any attempts by the West to significantly damage Russia’s military or its separatist allies in Ukraine would be “harshly suppressed.”
“We are making the Americans and other Westerners understand that attempts to slow down our special operation, to inflict maximum damage on Russian contingents and formations of the DPR and LPR (Donetsk and Luhansk People's republics) will be harshly suppressed,” Ryabkov noted.
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