Russia-Ukraine War Live Updates: Outrage as Ukraine finds mass grave near liberated Izyum


President Vladimir Putin on Friday brushed off a lightning Ukrainian counter-offensive with a smile but warned that Russia would respond more forcefully if its troops were put under further pressure. Speaking after a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Samarkand, Putin cast the invasion as a necessary step to prevent what he said was a Western plot to break Russia apart. Moscow, he said, was in no hurry in Ukraine. And its goals remained unchanged. “The Kiev authorities announced that they have launched an active counter-offensive operation. Well, let’s see how it develops, how it ends up,” Putin said witha grin. It was his first public comment on a rout of his forces in Kharkiv a week ago that has prompted unusually strong public criticism from Russian military commentators. “Recently, our armed forces have inflicted a couple of sensitive blows. Let’s assume they’re a warning. If the situation continues to develop like this, then the response will be more serious,” he said.

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