Russia talks about "war" for the first time since the invasion of Ukraine

Since the offensive of February 24, 2022, the Kremlin had used and imposed the term "special operation" to talk about the conflict.

(AFP) Russia is in a "state of war" in Ukraine, a Kremlin spokesman admitted on Friday, after having insisted on presenting the assault against the former Soviet republic, launched two years ago, as a "special military operation" and rejecting the use of the term war.

"We are in a state of war. Yes, it started as a special military operation, but as soon as this whole gang was formed, when the collective West became a participant on Ukraine’s side, for us it became a war," Dmitri Peskov said in an interview with the media. pro-government Argumenty i Fakty.

For two years now, the Kremlin has been punishing the use of the term "war" with fines and prison sentences, and imposing the official euphemism of "special military operation." Several high-ranking officials used the term "war" in public statements during this period, although always referring to what they consider to be the war the West is waging against Russia by supporting Ukraine.

Questioned by the press about the fate of those who were condemned for having used that word, Peskov implied that the use of this term with the intention of criticizing Russia would not be authorized. "The word war is used in different contexts," the spokesman said.

On Telegram, Russian analyst Tatiana Stanovaya commented that the official use of the term by the Kremlin nevertheless illustrates the overcoming of a "psychological boundary" for the political elite and the population.

Vladimir Putin, recently re-elected for six years with 87% of the vote in a presidential election in which he had no real opposition, has vowed to lead Russia to victory against Kiev and the West, in a struggle he describes as existential.