- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Situation in Ukraine
On 24 February, Russia launched a special military operation amid Kiev's ongoing shelling of the DPR and LPR. President Vladimir Putin stated that the op is meant to protect the people of Donbass, and its goal is the complete demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine.

West Tries to Sabotage Russia-Ukraine Talks With Bucha Hysteria, Lavrov Says

© Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service / Go to the photo bankRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.04.2022
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Ukrainian and western media have accused Russia of committing mass killings of civilians in the Ukrainian city of Bucha. Moscow, for its part, said that the Bucha situation is nothing short of provocation created by Ukraine specifically for the western media.
The West is trying to sabotage negotiations between Russia and Ukraine by fueling the hype around the Bucha provocation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.
The top Russian official noted that the provocation in Bucha took place just as Ukraine rolled out possible peace suggestions, including those regarding Crimea.
Should such attempts by the West continue, there is a risk negotiations between Russia and Ukraine will repeat the fate of the Minsk agreements - something that "should not happen", the minister said.
The talks in Istanbul took place in late March and were considered fruitful, with Russia even noting that Kiev "confirmed the need to ensure a non-nuclear, non-bloc status of Ukraine" and its security outside NATO, along with Ukraine acknowledging that the "issues of Crimea and Donbass have been finally resolved".
"For us to have real progress, not the illusion of it, we insist that an unambiguous signal be sent to Kiev not to sabotage the process," the minister stressed. "Otherwise, we risk repeating the fate of the Minsk agreements, and we will never agree to this."
The Russian foreign minister went on to say that Moscow is concerned about Kiev's decision to demand the ratification of a potential peace deal and a referendum. According to Lavrov, this might complicate the process.
Lavrov's remarks come as the western media, along with the Ukrainian outlets, continue to fuel the narrative that Russia is behind the mass killings of civilians in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, citing footage that shows bodies strewn across the city's streets as evidence. However, the footage appeared to be questionable, as many observers said that "corpses" were moving or even standing up when the camera moved past them.
Moscow said that the Bucha allegations are "yet another provocation" carried out especially for western media and aimed at slandering Russia. Moscow has twice requested an urgent session of the United Nations Security Council over the Bucha situation, but the United Kingdom (which is at present presiding over the UNSC) refused both times to hold the meeting.
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