Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says the “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine are among the objectives of Russia's military action in the country, which he described as a "special operation."
“Ideally, Ukraine should be liberated, cleansed of Nazis, of pro-Nazi people and ideology,” Peskov said, though he refused to say if that meant regime change in Kyiv.
This Russian claim of a need to "denazify" Ukraine is one Putin has touted repeatedly over the years and is entirely baseless.
Peskov also said the operation would end only when its objectives had been reached.
The operation has its goals, they should be reached. The president has said that all the decisions have been made and all the goals will be reached,” Peskov said. “It all depends on the decision of supreme commander-in-chief [President Putin].”
Putin announced his decision to "conduct a special military operation" in a surprise address overnight. During that speech, he said it was "to protect people who have been subjected to abuse and genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years," restating a groundless claim about Ukraine's Russian-separatist-backed Donbas region.
The invasion began shortly after with a series of missile attacks against locations near Kyiv, as well as the use of long-range artillery against the northeastern city of Kharkiv, near the Russian border.