Ukraine, Putin uses the word ‘war’ for the first time: “The sooner it ends the better”

The Russian leader had always called the conflict a “special military operation”. Councilor sues him for “dissemination of false information”

Vladimir Putin used the word “war” in public for the first time to refer to the conflict in Ukraine, instead of speaking of a “special military operation” as usual. “Our goal is not to spin the flywheel of the military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war. The sooner it ends, the better,” the Russian president told reporters in Moscow after attending a meeting of the Council of State on youth policies. “We are committed and will continue to fight for it.”

Putin’s critics say using the word “war” to describe the Ukrainian conflict has been illegal in Russia since March, when the Russian leader signed a censorship law making it a crime to spread “false” information about the invasion, with a fine of up to to 15 years’ imprisonment for anyone convicted.

Nikita Yuferev, a St. Petersburg municipal lawmaker who fled Russia due to his anti-war stance, said he had asked Russian authorities to prosecute Putin for “spreading false information. There has been no decree to end the “Special military operation, no war has been declared,” he wrote on Twitter. “Several thousand people have already been convicted of such words about the war.”