Putin's high-stakes warning to Poland against Belarus aggression

Putin digs in as evacuation corridors agreed in Ukraine


Kyiv: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that despite fierce resistance and growing international isolation, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “planned” as Kyiv wins Moscow’s vote on humanitarian corridors. Valuable agreement to allow frightened civilians to flee.

It’s unclear how any corridor will work, but growing fears that a deadly new phase of the fighting may be on the way as Russia seizes its first major city and leaves dozens dead has underscored the urgency.

Like Putin, Ukraine s President Volodymr Zelensky showed no sign of backing down eight days into the conflict, vowing that Russia would learn the meaning of the word “reparations” and calling on the West to up its military assistance.

“If we are no more then, God forbid, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia will be next,” he told a news conference, adding that direct talks with Putin were “the only way to stop this war”.

Since Putin’s February 24 invasion, the overwhelming international community has backed staunch Ukrainians and their social media-savvy government, making Russia a global outcast in finance, diplomacy, sports and culture.

Western analysts say the invading force is already in trouble – but warn that an early failure could lead to Moscow’s frustrated decision to unleash all its power on Ukraine.

Putin s comments Thursday did nothing to dispel that fear.

He said Russia was rooting out “neo-Nazis”, adding in televised comments that he “will never give up on (his) conviction that Russians and Ukrainians are one people”.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who spoke with Putin on Thursday, believes “the worst is yet to come,” an aide said.

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