Donetsk, Dec 23 - DAN. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that there are apprehensions regarding the preparations for Kiev’s new military operation in Donbass. He made the statement at his end-of-the-year press conference in the context of the West’s fanning the information campaign which alleges Russia’s upcoming attack on Ukraine, and the threats of new sanctions.

“Now they tell us: war, war, war. One gets the impression that they may be preparing the third military operation and are warning us in advance: don’t interfere, don’t defend these people. If you interfere, if you defend them, new sanctions will follow. Maybe they are preparing for it?” Putin said. 

He added that a question emerges amid supplies of modern weapons to Ukraine and the shaping of the anti-Russian sentiment in that country: “how should Russia live on in historical perspective, should it always turn round to see what’s happening there and what new weapons have been supplied?”

After the government overthrow in Ukraine in the winter of 2014, residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions who refused to recognize the new authorities, launched mass protests. In April 2014, Kiev announced a military operation which escalated to full-blown war involving heavy armored vehicles, artillery, missile systems and aviation. In the Donetsk People’s Republic alone, more than 5,000 were killed during the conflict while the number of the wounded reaches dozens of thousands. Kiev forces continue to deliver strikes.*jk