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Kremlin says Russia in a ‘state of war’ in Ukraine

Kremlin says Russia in a 'state of war' in Ukraine
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The Kremlin said Friday it is in a “state of war” in Ukraine, escalating the official language it uses to describe the conflict, now in its third year.

Russia has presented its offensive on Ukraine as a “special military operation,” banned media outlets from using the word “war” and prosecuted anti-offensive campaigners for using the word to describe Russia’s military actions.

“We are in a state of war. Yes, it started as a special military operation, but as soon as this bunch was formed there, when the collective West became a participant on Ukraine’s side, for us it already became a war,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview to a pro-Kremlin newspaper published on Friday.

Asked to elaborate, Peskov told reporters later: “De jure it is a special military operation. But de facto it has turned into a war.”

President Vladimir Putin has previously said the West has unleashed a “hybrid war” against Moscow, but largely stuck to calling the conflict in Ukraine a “special military operation.”

Peskov also said that when it comes to the prosecution of anti-conflict campaigners for using the word “war”, the context of his comments was different.

“The word ‘war’ is used in different contexts. Compare my context with those in the cases you cite,” he said in response to a question about criminal cases brought against anti-Kremlin protestors.

Russia passed sweeping military censorship laws in the days after it sent troops into Ukraine that allow it to send critics of the offensive to jail for years if they are found to have spread “false information” or “discredited” the armed forces.

More than 900 criminal cases have been launched over the past two years for opposing the conflict, according to the OVD-Info rights group.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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