Russia's special military operation in Ukraine is not aimed at ruining that country's statehood or ousting its president, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday.
"Let me stress once again what both the Western mass media and the Western establishment refuse to see: this operation is not targeted at the civilian population. It does not pursue the aim of seizing the country's territory, ruining its statehood or ousting the current president. We keep saying this again and again."
"The Western media are forming an absolutely distorted picture of current events. They disinform their own population. They are a propaganda tool in the hands of their politicians," Zakharova said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 said that in response to a plea for help from the leaders of two Donbass republics he had launched a special military operation in Ukraine. He stressed that Moscow had no plans for an occupation of Ukrainian territories, its sole purpose being the country's demilitarization and denazification.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian forces were not attacking Ukrainian cities. Smart weapons are used to eliminate military infrastructure.