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Russia's key goal of operation in Ukraine to protect Moscow-backed republics -Peskov

·1 min read

June 13 (Reuters) - Russia's main goal of its military operation in Ukraine is to protect the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics, Russia's RIA state news agency cited Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Monday.

"In general, the protection of the republics is the main goal of the special military operation," Peskov said.

Donetsk and Luhansk are two breakaway Russian-backed entities in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, which Russia says it is fighting to remove entirely from Kyiv's control.

Moscow calls its actions a "special military operation" to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and its allies in the West say the fascist allegation is baseless and the war is an unprovoked act of aggression. (Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne, Australia; Editing by Leslie Adler)