Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that the sanctions introduced on his country are “equivalent of a declaration of war.”
Putin also said there are not planning on a state of emergency in Russia or enlisiting conscripts for the “operation" in Ukraine.
“We could have taken a different course of action," he said. "We could have helped the republics of Donbas at the contact line and reinforced them with the Russian army, but in this case, and I mean with the unwavering support from the west, we would have radicals on the other side coming endlessly… with support from the west."
“Our General Staff, the Ministry of Defense, went the other way; the first thing they did was to destroy the entire military infrastructure [of Ukraine], well, not all of it, but partially, mostly. Warehouses with weapons, ammunition, aviation, air defense systems,” he said.
Putin said they have almost completed the destruction of the Ukrainian air defense systems.
CNN cannot independently confirm Putin's claims.
“Hence the demand to close the sky, but the implementation of this demand is associated with colossal and catastrophic consequences not only for Europe, but for the whole world,” he said.
“The current [Ukrainian] leadership needs to understand that if they continue doing what they are doing, they put under question the future of Ukrainian statehood. And if that happens, it will be entirely on their conscience,” Putin added.