(PatriotWise.com) – Last Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin used the word “war” to describe the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, marking the first occasion in which he publicly deviated from his carefully-crafted “special military operation” narrative.
While speaking to reporters at the Kremlin after attending a State Council meeting on youth policy, the Russian president said Moscow’s goal is “to end this war,” adding “we have been and will continue to strive for this.”
Putin’s use of the word did not go unnoticed, especially since it has been illegal in Russia to describe the “special military operation” as a “war” since Putin signed a censorship law in March making it a crime to spread “fake” information about the invasion.
Anyone else calling it a “war” would face up to 15 years in prison if convicted under the law.
Nikita Yuferev, a St. Petersburg council member who fled the country over his opposition to the war, tweeted last Thursday that he had asked Russian authorities to prosecute President Putin for “spreading fake information about the army.”
Yuferev said on Twitter that there has not been a decree to end the “special military operation” nor has war been declared. He said thousands of others “have already been condemned” for using the word “war” to describe the conflict in Ukraine.
One US official told CNN that while it was likely Putin’s remark was simply a slip of the tongue, the US will be watching closely over the coming days to see how Kremlin officials react.
In response to Putin saying his goal is to end the war, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Putin has “shown absolutely zero indication” that he is willing to negotiate an end to the conflict that began ten months ago.
Kirby said Putin’s actions in Ukraine “on the ground and in the air” are those of someone who wants to “escalate the war” by continuing to “visit violence on the Ukrainian people.”
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