Russia ‘not squeaky clean’ and ‘not ashamed’, Lavrov says

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Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, gave an interview with the BBC in which he insisted that Russia did not invade Ukraine.

“We didn’t invade Ukraine,” he claimed. “We declared a special military operation because we had absolutely no other way of explaining to the west that dragging Ukraine into Nato was a criminal act.”

Responding to an official UN report detailing alleged war crimes against civilians committed by Russian forces in the Ukrainian village of Yahidne, in Chernihiv region, Lavrov was asked if that was “fighting Nazis”.

“It’s a great pity,” Lavrov said, “but international diplomats, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN secretary general and other UN representatives, are being put under pressure by the west. And very often they’re being used to amplify fake news spread by the west.

 “Russia is not squeaky clean. Russia is what it is. And we are not ashamed of showing who we are.”

Addressing Moscow’s relations with the UK, Lavrov maintained he no longer believed there was any “room for manoeuvre”.

“Because both [Boris] Johnson and [Liz] Truss say openly that we should defeat Russia, we should force Russia to its knees. Go on, then, do it!”

Photo – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. EPA-EFE/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT / POOL

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