Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned Wednesday that the purpose of what he calls the “particular navy operation” in Ukraine is to “finish the warfare” within the jap Donbas area, in response to state information company RIA Novosti.

Talking at a gathering with World Warfare II veterans and survivors of the siege of Leningrad, Putin reportedly mentioned that successfully “full-scale hostilities in Donbas haven’t stopped since 2014 — with using heavy tools, artillery, tanks and plane.”

“Every part we do at the moment, together with within the particular navy operation, is an try to finish this warfare,” Putin mentioned, in response to RIA Novosti. “That’s the which means of our operation. And to guard our individuals who reside there, in these territories.”

In late December, Putin used the phrase “warfare” to discuss with the battle in Ukraine, the primary recognized time he has publicly deviated from his rigorously crafted description of Moscow’s invasion as a “particular navy operation.”

Extra on Donbas: The industrial area blankets a lot of jap Ukraine and has been the entrance line of the nation’s battle with Moscow since 2014. The Donbas’ longstanding industrial pull has attracted folks from throughout Jap Europe over the previous century, and it has had sturdy social and financial ties to neighboring Russia in addition to the remainder of Ukraine.

Its distance from the capital Kyiv and different metropolitan facilities has given rise to an enormous assortment of native actions, and that was the backdrop upon which pro-Russian separatists tried to grab management following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.

Putin’s annexation of Crimea and the occupation of components of Donbas by Russian-backed rebels in 2014 delivered to a crashing halt a interval of accelerating prosperity within the area.

Warfare broke out in 2014 after Russian-backed rebels seized authorities buildings in cities and cities throughout jap Ukraine. Intense preventing left parts of Luhansk and Donetsk within the arms of Russian-backed separatists.

CNN’s Rob Picheta contributed reporting to this put up.

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