Lavrov says May 9 anniversary will not affect military operations in Ukraine

The upcoming anniversary of Russia’s liberation at the end of World War II on May 9 will not affect Moscow’s military operations in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Italian Mediaset television.

“Our soldiers will not base their actions on a specific date,” Lavrov said when asked if May 9 would mark a milestone or a turning point in the war.

“We will commemorate our victory in a solemn manner, but the timing and speed of what happens in Ukraine will depend on the need to minimize risks to Russian civilians and soldiers,” he added.

Western governments and analysts had predicted that Russian President Vladimir Putin intended to declare victory in Ukraine in time for the May 9 celebrations in which Russia holds its huge annual military parade.

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, but its progress was blocked by Ukrainian resistance armed with Western military support.

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