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Official Kremlin admits it’s “in a state of war” with Ukraine for first time

Kremlin spokesperson Peskov has referred to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine as a “state of war” for the first time, diverging from the term “special military operation,” according to AFP.
Moscow, Russia’s capital. Credit: The Center for European Policy Analysis
Official Kremlin admits it’s “in a state of war” with Ukraine for first time

The Kremlin declared for the first time on 22 March that Russia is “in a state of war” in Ukraine, marking a significant escalation in its official rhetoric from previously calling it a “special military operation” as the all-out war enters its third year, AFP reports.

Previously, Russia has labeled its aggression in Ukraine as a “special military operation,” prohibiting media from using the term “war” and punishing those who describe the conflict as such.

“We are in a state of war. Yes, it started as a special military operation, but as soon as this bunch was formed there, when the collective West became a participant on Ukraine’s side, for us it already became a war,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview, adding, “De jure it is a special military operation. But de facto it has turned into a war.”

When asked about the prosecution of anti-war activists for using the word “war,” Peskov claimed their use of the term differed from his.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously claimed that the West has allegedly unleashed a “hybrid war” against Moscow, while he has predominantly termed his war in Ukraine as a “special military operation.”

In March 2022, Russia enacted draconian military censorship laws shortly after its troops invaded Ukraine, allowing authorities to imprison critics for up to 15 years for spreading “false information” or “discrediting” the armed forces, with even calling the conflict a war also being considered an offense. According to the OVD-Info rights group, over 900 criminal cases have been initiated in the past two years against individuals for opposing the war, AfP said.

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