Putin says Russia has not 'started anything in earnest' with regard to its war with Ukraine

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Vladimir Putin grinning
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an ominous warning this week that Russia has not "started anything in earnest" when it came to the invasion of Ukraine.Alexei Nikolsky/Reuters
  • Vladimir Putin warned this week that Russia was just getting started in its war with Ukraine.

  • Putin said Russia had not "started anything in earnest" with regard to its invasion.

  • He called it a "tragedy for the Ukrainian people" that the conflict could be fought to the last man.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Russia is just getting started in its war with Ukraine, despite the conflict dragging on for over 130 days and Moscow's forces suffering heavy casualties.

The Associated Press reported on Putin's statements at a Kremlin parliament meeting, where the Russian leader said it was clear that "the West wants to fight us until the last Ukrainian."

"It's a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but it looks like it's heading in that direction," Putin said, per the outlet. "Everybody should know that largely speaking, we haven't even yet started anything in earnest," he added.

Per the AP, Putin added that a continued refusal to submit to peace talks would make it harder for Ukraine to reach a deal with Russia.

"We are hearing that they want to defeat us on the battlefield," Putin added, per the outlet, referring to Ukraine. "Let them try."

At the same meeting, Putin claimed that the West was still looking to divide Russian society and demoralize its people. "The course of history is unstoppable, and attempts by the collective West to enforce its version of the global order are doomed to fail," Putin said, per the AP.

Putin revealed in June that one of his aims for the Ukraine war was expanding Russian territory. Speaking with students, he compared himself to Russia's first emperor, Peter the Great, and said they were both destined to grow Russia.

Putin's warning to Ukraine and the West comes a week after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for Russia to be expelled from the United Nations, calling it a "terrorist" state.

Putin in June also warned Western allies Finland and Sweden — which are now slated to join NATO and end their neutrality in Europe — that Russia would respond "in kind" if the two countries began hosting the alliance's military infrastructure.

Read the original article on Business Insider