Putin shows no regrets as war rages in Ukraine

STORY: During a three and a half hour Q&A session Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin showed no regrets over his war in Ukraine, insisting that the "special military operation" was achieving its goals, and the West's dominance over world affairs was coming to an end.

"World domination is what the so-called West bet on in its game, but that game is, without doubt, a dangerous, bloody and, I would say, filthy one. It's one that denies the sovereignty of countries and nations, their distinctiveness and uniqueness, disregarding the interests of other states."

Taking questions from audience members who lavished him with praise, Putin hardly mentioned Ukraine, instead railed against the West.

Putin appeared confident and relaxed, a marked contrast from stiff, formal and uneasy public appearances early in the eight-month-old war that had drawn questions about his health.

Putin said liberal Western leaders had undermined "traditional values" around the world, and forecast an unpredictable and dangerous future.

"We are standing at a historical frontier: Ahead is probably the most dangerous, unpredictable and, at the same time, important decade since the end of World War Two."

He made no mention of Russia's battlefield setbacks of recent months, or his escalation in response, such as calling up hundreds of thousands of reservists, which has led to thousands of men fleeing abroad.

Leaders in Kyiv dismissed his speech, as fighting on the ground appears to have slowed in recent days, with Ukrainian officials saying tough terrain and bad weather had held up their main advance in the southern Kherson region.

Russia has ordered the evacuation of civilians from the region it holds, but Kyiv says Russia is reinforcing the area with freshly called-up reservists.

Putin on Thursday repeated Russia's latest allegation - that Ukraine was planning to use a so-called "dirty bomb" to spread nuclear material, which the United States, Britain and France have called "transparently false."

Meanwhile, Kyiv said Russia was pressing ahead with a campaign to destroy critical infrastructure ahead of the winter with drone and missile strikes.

A senior Russian foreign ministry official also warned this week that Western commercial satellites could become targets for Russia if they determined them to be involved in the war in Ukraine.

The White House Thursday vowed any attack on U.S. infrastructure will be met with a response.