Russia’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday its operation thwarted a large-scale plot to attack separatist-held regions of eastern Ukraine.
Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov cited from what he claimed was an intercepted Ukrainian National Guard document laying out plans for a weekslong operation targeting the Donbas region.
Konashenkov said in a televised statement: “The special military operation of the Russian armed forces, carried out since Feb. 24, preempted and thwarted a large-scale offensive by strike groups of Ukrainian troops on the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, which are not controlled by Kyiv, in March of this year.”
He did not address Russia’s shelling, airstrikes and attacks on Ukrainian civilians or cities, Russian military casualties or any other aspect of its bogged-down campaign.
Russia calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation,” and official statements about the war have focused almost exclusively on fighting and evacuations in the separatist-held regions, where Russian-backed forces have been fighting Ukraine’s military since 2014.