Putin claims that war against Ukraine complies with international law

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that the legal side of Russia's war against Ukraine, which he calls a "special operation", fully complies with international law.

Source: Putin in a speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum; reports by RBC; video from TASS and RIA Novosti

Details: According to Putin, the legal side of the "special operation" in Ukraine fully complies with international law. When a territory is separated from a state, it is not necessary to ask permission from the central authorities, the Russian president said, recalling the ruling of the UN International Court of Justice on Kosovo.

Direct quote: "In this case the republics of Donbas did not have to ask permission from the Kyiv authorities. They declared their independence. In this regard, did we have the right to recognise them or not? Of course we did. We did that. We signed a mutual assistance agreement with them, and in accordance with this agreement, as well as with Article 151 of the UN Charter, we provide them with military assistance.

Did we have the right? We did, in full compliance with the UN Charter. Whether people like it or not. We did it ourselves and set a precedent. Therefore, our actions are absolutely legitimate."

More details: He also said that "military action is always a tragedy". However, the Russian president once again called the war a "necessary measure".

Direct quote: "Whatever pro-Western governments there were in Ukraine, we worked normally with all of them. There was Yushchenko, Tymoshenko - they are totally pro-Western. The so-called civilisational choice... What the hell is a civilisational choice? They stole money from the Ukrainian people and stashed it in banks, and they want to protect it."

For reference: Since 2014, Russia has illegally annexed Ukrainian Crimea, as well as conducting hybrid aggression and fighting in Donbas through its proxies. At the same time, Russia did not admit to being a party to the conflict and insisted that there were no Russian military personnel in Donbas.

On 24 February 2022, Russia launched an open full-scale invasion of Ukraine on the pretext of "protecting Donbas" and "denazifying" and "demilitarising Ukraine". Russia is destroying residential buildings and infrastructure facilities throughout Ukraine, as well as killing civilians. Furthermore, the Russian invaders have occupied parts of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv oblasts.

Previously: On 16 June, almost 4 months after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that Russia did not invade Ukraine.