Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, said in an interview with Al Jazeera that Russia's invasion of Ukraine is not a war but rather a "special military operation," according to Russian state media outlet TASS.
"Russian troops are trying to threaten civilian objects to the minimum extent."Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of the Russian Security Council
Medvedev claimed that the reason for this is that Russia's goals are "limited" and that Russia has been attempting to minimize damage to civilian infrastructure.
"This operation is carried out mainly with the use of high-precision weapons; military facilities are being destroyed and destroyed," he said. "Russian troops are trying to threaten civilian objects to the minimum extent. We are trying to act in such a way that everything that happens concerns only the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and therefore what is being carried out by our troops is called a special military operation."
Medvedev went on to accuse NATO countries of waging a "proxy war" against Russia and of promoting "militaristic moods" in Ukraine in order to prolong the war.
"They are trying in every possible way to maintain militaristic moods there, militaristic frenzy, so that Ukraine fights, as they say, to the end – as they say now, to the last Ukrainian," the deputy head said. "Moreover, for obvious reasons, [this is in] neither the interests of the United States nor Europe. In this case, six million people have already left Ukraine, and now these countries bear a significant part of the responsibility for what happened."
Contrary to Medvedev's assertions, numerous cases of Russian attacks against civilian infrastructure in Ukraine resulting in multiple civilian deaths have been documented.
Furthermore, Russia has not limited itself to precision weapons, of which Ukraine claims it is quickly running out. The use of so-called "dumb" bombs in densely-populated areas by Russian forces has been alleged by the Pentagon and human rights watchdog Amnesty International.
Ben Zion Gad and Reuters contributed to this report.