Putin References Ukraine "War" For 1st Time, In Response To Zelensky's D.C. Visit

This perhaps marks the biggest signal thus far over more than 10 months of fighting that the Ukraine conflict could grind on for years... 

Russian President Vladimir Putin called his "special military operation" in Ukraine a "war" for the first time since he launched a full-scale invasion into Russia’s neighbor nearly 10 months ago.

Putin said at a Thursday televised news conference: "Our goal is not to spin this flywheel of a military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war," adding that "This is what we are striving for." The words came as the Kremlin is still reacting to Zelensky's Wednesday speech wherein he pressed US lawmakers to authorize tanks, warplanes, and longer-range missiles while talking up future "victory".

Putin References Ukraine "War" For 1st Time, In Response To Zelensky's D.C. Visit
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The Russian president as well as all his top officials, including state media pundits, have until now been very careful in using the officially sanctioned language of "special military operation" in describing the Ukraine invasion which began on Feb.24.

All the way back in April, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told Congress that he expects the conflict to take "years"

"It’s a bit early, still. Even though we’re a month-plus into the war, there is much of the ground war left in Ukraine," he added. "But I do think this is a very protracted conflict, and I think it’s at least measured in years. I don’t know about a decade, but at least years for sure."

"This is a very extended conflict that Russia has initiated," Milley went on, "and I think that NATO, the United States, Ukraine and all of the allies and partners that are supporting Ukraine are going to be involved in this for quite some time."

This week US national security spokesman John Kirby asserted that Putin is "obviously not interested in diplomacy right now."

"Quite the contrary," Kirby said. "He’s interested in killing more civilian Ukrainians and knocking out the lights and knocking out the heat as the winter approaches," he alleged.

It should also be noted that Putin's unprecedented word choice of "war" came the day after Ukrainian President Zelensky visited Washington and met with President Biden, and gave an address before Congress, wherein he pledged "absolute victory"

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