Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia should have annexed part of Donbas earlier, but it allegedly hoped that Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts would be able to reunite with Ukraine.
Source: Kremlin-aligned news outlet TASS, citing Putin during a meeting with "mothers of Russian military"
Quote: "As for 2014, of course, in retrospect, we are all smart, but we assumed that it might be possible to reach an agreement, and Luhansk and Donetsk would somehow be able to reunite with Ukraine within the framework of the Minsk agreements.
We sincerely hoped for this, but we did not fully feel the mood of people, as it was impossible to fully understand what was happening there."
Details: According to the president of the aggressor country, it has now become obvious that the "reunification" of the Russian Federation with Donbas should have taken place earlier.
"Perhaps there would not have been so many civilian casualties, there would not have been so many children killed under attacks," he said.
On 21 February, Putin recognised the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, the parts of Ukraine's Donbas that have been de facto under Russia's control since 2014.
On 30 September, after the fake referendums in the occupied territories, Putin signed the "agreement on accession" of the captured territories of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts to Russia, and claimed that from now on, the residents of these territories would be Russian citizens.
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