The Kremlin said on Monday it could still choose to take control of Ukraine’s major cities as the Moscow military moves steadily toward several major urban centers in the western part of the district.
“Putin has ordered a halt to any immediate attacks on major cities, as civilian casualties will be heavy,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
However, he added that the Ministry of Defense “does not rule out the possibility of bringing large cities, which are already almost completely surrounded, under its control.”
Exceptions would be made for “areas used for humanitarian evacuations,” Peskov said.
“It seems that the US and EU leaders are forcing Russia to attack the big cities of Ukraine to hold our country responsible for the deaths of civilians,” he added.
Peskov also denied a report by Russia calling for military assistance to China.
“Russia has its own power to continue the operation,” Peskov told reporters.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a union feed.)