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Putin says only regret is not invading Ukraine sooner

He was apparently referring to the 2022 full-scale invasion, not the hybrid war since 2014.
Credit: Screenshot from Putin’s address to Russians on 24 February 2022,
Putin says only regret is not invading Ukraine sooner

“The only thing we regret is not starting active operations sooner,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said, commenting on the course of the war in Ukraine in an interview on state TV channel “Russia 1” late evening on 15 February.

He was apparently referring to the 2022 full-scale invasion, not the hybrid war since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea and occupied part of Donbas, yet did not acknowledge the presence of its troops.

Putin repeated again that Ukraine allegedly did not want peace after 2014 and did not implement the Minsk agreements, while the West allegedly “pumped Ukraine with weapons” under this pretext.

The interview centered around Putin’s 6 February talk with American media personality Tucker Carlson. Commenting on viewers’ reactions, Putin called Carlson “a dangerous man” who intentionally avoided asking “sharp questions.” Putin said he prepared for different questions and wanted to give “spicier” answers that would make the interview more dramatic. As a result, he said “it was not fully enjoyable.”

At the same time, answering the question of which US president is more beneficial to him, the current President Biden or his predecessor Donald Trump, he replied: “Biden. He is a more predictable person.”

Putin also talked about what he discussed unofficially with Tucker Carlson when the American journalist’s film crew had already turned off the cameras. According to the president, the conversation touched on the “demonization” of Russia in connection with the mass Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire at the beginning of the 20th century. 

Putin stated that these pogroms occurred mainly on the territory of modern Ukraine, whose regime the Russian authorities also call “neo-Nazi” (in fact Jewish pogroms took place throughout the territory of the Russian Empire, including in Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnoyarsk).

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