MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday it was “shocked” by the Ukrainian defense minister’s recent remarks, in which he warned of an imminent war between Russia and Ukraine that would lead to thousands of deaths.
“Moscow, of course, noted the remarks by the Ukrainian defense chief Valeriy Heletei, who claimed that ‘the operation to free east Ukraine from terrorists is over’ and announced the beginning of ‘the Great patriotic war’ that would leave ‘dozens of thousands’ dead. The degree of adequacy of the Ukrainian defense minister, who published this post on his Facebook page, requires a careful study, albeit not by military experts,” the Ministry said in a statement.
“Moreover, Heletei’s call to prepare for ‘dozens of thousands’ of victims in what he claims is the ‘Great patriotic war,’ but what de-facto is a new punitive operation in his country, leaves [us] deeply shocked. By [making] such [announcements], he drags the Ukrainian people into continuing civil conflict,” the statement reads.
Hetelei made the statement earlier today on his Facebook page.
"A great war has arrived at our doorstep, the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War II. Unfortunately, the losses in such a war will be measured not in the hundreds but thousands and tens of thousands," Hetelei’s statement said.
Earlier, the Donetsk People’s Republic’s representatives claimed that the statements made by Kiev government with regards to the situation in eastern Ukraine are shocking, unreasonable and far from reality.
Kiev launched a special operation in southeast of Ukraine in attempt to crackdown on independence supporters protesting against the February regime change.
Moscow has repeatedly condemned the move that led to hundreds of casualties and called on Ukrainian authorities to stop the “punitive” action.
More than 2,500 people have been killed and more than 6,000 injured since the start of Kiev’s military operation in eastern Ukraine, according to the United Nations.