Russia's special military operation in Ukraine is going according to plan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
The minister pointed out that the duration of the operation depends on a system to avoid shelling any civilian infrastructure, stressing that at the same time the future of Ukraine should be decided by its citizens.
In statements carried by the Russian "TASS" news agency, Lavrov said that Russia protects the Russian language and Ukraine from Nazism, and people who have been directly discriminated against and harassed by former and current presidents of Ukraine.
He noted that over the past years, Western countries have ignored Russia's calls to push Ukraine to fulfill its international obligations, adding that the military operation there was inevitable, and they have long tried to communicate with the West.
The minister mentioned that Russian military attacks exclusively target military facilities, weapons deployment areas, and Ukrainian forces.
"This is why we act differently from the Ukrainian army and neo-Nazi militias who use civilians as human shields and place their weapons near schools and hospitals," he added.
Lavrov stressed that the highest priority for Moscow is the liberation of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (which are officially recognized in Russia).