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With a grin, Putin warns Ukraine: 'The war can get more serious'

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Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Turkish President Tayyip Erdan on the sidelines the Shanghai Co-operation Organization summit (SCO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 16 September 2022.

President Vladimir Putin smiled at a lightning Ukrainian counter-offensive but warned that Russia would retaliate more forcefully if it was put under greater pressure.

Putin spoke after the summit of Shanghai Co-operation Organization in Samarkand, Uzbek. He described the invasion as necessary to stop what he called a Western plot against Russia.

He said that Moscow was not in a hurry to help Ukraine. Its goals remained the same.

"The Kiev authorities have announced that they have launched an active counter-offensive and are currently conducting it. Putin smiled and said: "Let's see how this develops."

He made it his first public comment about the rout of his troops in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine a week ago. This has provoked unusually strong public criticisms from Russian military commentators.

Russia attacked the Ukrainian infrastructure as a response. This included a reservoir dam and electricity supply. Putin stated that these attacks could escalate.

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"Recently, the Russian Armed Forces have inflicted some sensitive blows. Let's suppose they are a warning. He said that if the situation continues to worsen, the response will be even more severe."

Putin stated that Russia was slowly gaining control over new areas in Ukraine.

When asked if he thought the "special military operations" needed to be corrected, he replied: "The plan cannot be adjusted."

Putin stated that the General Staff may consider one thing more important than another, but the main task is still being completed. The main goal is to liberate the entire territory of Donbass.

The Donbas is made up of two Russian-speaking regions in eastern Ukraine: Luhansk which is currently fully under the control Russian-backed separatist forces and Donetsk which they have a partial control.

Russia occupies about a fifth of Ukraine, including a lot of the Zaporizhzhia-Kharon provinces to the south, and Crimea which it seized in 2014. It considers Crimea part of Russia.

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