Zakharova, MFA Russia: special operation’s objectives include neither occupation of Ukraine nor overthrow of current government

“In practice, agreements are often not respected”

The purpose of Russia's special military operation is not the occupation of Ukraine, the overthrow of the current government of the country or the destruction of its statehood. This has been stated on Wednesday at a briefing by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova.

“Protection of the DPR and LPR, demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine, elimination of the military threat of Russia, which comes from the Ukrainian territory due to its development by NATO countries accordingly and pumping weapons," Zakharova reminded about the objectives of the special operation.

Russia hopes that a more significant step forward will be made at the next rounds of negotiations with Ukraine, Zakharova added.

“In practice, agreements are often not respected. We call on the Ukrainian side to do everything possible to ensure the safe passage of civilians," the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated.

According to Zakharova, about two million people in total have turned to the Russian side with a request for evacuation.

Yesterday, the head of the Interdepartmental Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response, head of the National Defence Control Centre of the Russian Federation, Colonel-General, Mikhail Mizintsev, said that the militants of the territorial defence battalions continue to hold hostage more than 4,5 million civilians as a “human shield”, as well as about 2 thousand foreigners. According to him, official representatives of the Kiev authorities and mayors of Ukrainian cities have received the strictest instructions not to allow any attempt to evacuate to the Russian Federation — civilians are not informed about possible evacuation to Russia and the creation of humanitarian corridors for this.

“Our long-standing fears have been confirmed”

The United States also confirmed Russia's concerns about the development of biological weapons in Ukraine — this was stated today by US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland. This was stated on Wednesday at a briefing by the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova.

“These days, our long-standing concerns have been confirmed, which we have voiced repeatedly and not for the first year, regarding the development of appropriate biological military materials on the territory of Ukraine under the auspices of the relevant special services of the United States," Maria Zakharova said.

Russia, according to the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wonders whether biomaterials were destroyed in laboratories in Ukraine and whether dangerous substances fell into the hands of extremists and nationalists.

On March 6, the Russian Defence Ministry announced that the Kiev regime was urgently trying to cover the traces of a military biological programme funded by the US Department of Defence being implemented in Ukraine to prevent the disclosure of violations of Article 1 of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention of the UN. Employees of Ukrainian biolaboratories submitted documents on the destruction of especially dangerous pathogens of plague and anthrax pathogens on February 24. They say that the development of biological weapons components was carried out in the immediate vicinity of the territory of Russia.

Read all latest news about the special operation, consequences and reactions to it in the report of Realnoe Vremya.

Daria Pinegina