Kremlin says Russia ‘in a state of war’ in Ukraine for first time

The Kremlin said Friday it is in a “state of war” in Ukraine, escalating the official language it uses to describe the conflict, now in its third year.

Russia has presented its offensive on Ukraine as a “special military operation,” banned media outlets from using the word “war” and prosecuted anti-offensive campaigners for using the word to describe Russia’s military actions.

“We are in a state of war. Yes, it started as a special military operation, but as soon as this bunch was formed there, when the collective West became a participant on Ukraine’s side, for us it already became a war,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview to a pro-Kremlin newspaper published on Friday.

Asked to elaborate, Peskov told reporters later: “De jure it is a special military operation. But de facto it has turned into a war.”

President Vladimir Putin has previously said the West has unleashed a “hybrid war” against Moscow, but largely stuck to calling the conflict in Ukraine a “special military operation.”

Peskov also said that when it comes to the prosecution of anti-conflict campaigners for using the word “war”, the context of his comments was different.


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