Home / News / World /  Russia asserts annexed Ukraine territories will 'never be given back'

Despite major battlefield reversals in recent days, which shrank the amount of territory under Moscow's control, Russia is asserting that the Ukrainian territories that have been annexed will remain part of Russia "forever". Russian leaders also affirmed that there is no contradiction between annexing Ukrainian territories into Russia and military retreats are part of a broad strategy.

"They will be with Russia forever and they will never be returned," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Russia also vowed to take back the land it lost to Ukraine. In the past few days, Moscow lost key towns like Lyman (which is a rail hub) in eastern Ukraine, within the regions that it had annexed. Kremlin has struggled to define the precise borders of the territory it is annexing, with its forces not controlling the entire territory.

According to Peskov, Russia will "continue to consult with the population that expresses a desire to join Russia."

Russian officials also attacked the United States over its military aid to Ukraine. They highlighted the comments by a Pentagon official on Tuesday about Ukraine using US-supplied equipment to strike targets in Crimea as extremely dangerous which exposes the role of the US in the conflict.

Laura Cooper, the Pentagon's deputy assistant secretary for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian affairs, made comments that Peskov described as "extremely dangerous" and "evidence of direct US involvement in the conflict,".

Kremlin also asserted that Russia must be involved in the investigations into the explosions that occurred last week in the Nord Stream gas pipelines beneath the Baltic Sea. Due to the restrictions imposed by Danish and Swedish authorities, the operators of the two pipelines connecting Russia and Germany said they were unable to inspect the damaged sections.

Peskov told reporters that Russian participation in investigating and assessing the damage should be "mandatory."

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