An exhibition of destroyed and burnt-out Russian armoured vehicles is set to open in Warsaw, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov told private Polish TV channel Polsat News on Sunday, adding that after Warsaw, the trophies would make their way to Madrid and Lisbon.
Asked whether the removal of Vladimir Putin from the office of Russia's president would bring about the end of the war, he replied that “Ukraine's foe is not just one man but the entire regime.”
“The whole of the Kremlin is responsible for the war i.e the entire group making decisions on the rebuilding of the [Russian] empire,” the official said, claiming that Russian decision-makers intended to send their tanks “as far as to the Atlantic.”
The minister said that according to the ministry's knowledge, the Russians were making good on their promises and were treating the Ukrainian defenders of the Mariupol Azovstal steelworks in line with the Geneva convention. “We hope that they won't break their promises and that it would be possible to exchange them for Russian soldiers, whom we've got plenty in our custody,” he elaborated.
“I hope that the heroes, who were protecting Mariupol and Azovstal, will be released,” he said.
He went on to say that since the first phases of the invasion humanitarian corridors were being organised on a running basis, as well as exchanges of prisoners. He stressed that in reality, Russia's war against Ukraine began in February 2014 when the Crimean Peninsula was annexed.
Moving on to the topic of military mobilisation, the official said that “people aged 60 and above will not be mobilised” as “today we experience no shortage of manpower. We've got about 700,000 people in our armed forces and security sector, namely the National Guard of Ukraine, border guard and special units.”
Minister Reznikov admitted that cases of desertion occurred, also in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “A response to such events should conform with the rules that apply,” he said, adding that “currently, the whole of Ukraine defends the country, armed forces and civilians alike, to the best of their abilities.”