Donetsk, Feb 24 — DAN. The decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to launch the special military operation (SVO) has prevented irreparable consequences and hundreds of thousands of victims in Donbass, Donetsk People’s Republic Acting Head Denis Pushilin said on Friday which marked an SVO anniversary.

“A year ago, President of the Russia Federation Vladimir Putin made the only possible right decision to begin the special military operation which was a lifeline for Donbass, ” Pushilin said. “Had it not been for the SVO, had it not been for preventive actions by the Russian army, the consequences would have been irreparable and run into hundreds of thousands of victims. Therefore, we call the special military operation the liberation and are thankful to Vladimir Putin for this decision and consolidated support of the Russian people.”

He reminded that Kiev had begun to actively build up the offensive potential in late 2021. Back then, it was already obvious that the Kiev regime wanted to settle the conflict by force.

“Today, the Russian army continues to defend the Russian people and liberate Russia’s historical territories from the deadly Neo-Nazi threat. Whatever the collective West does to drag out the conflict throwing the remaining part of Ukraine into the furnace of war, we’ll surely win, ” the regional leader said.

The special military operation began overnight to February 24, 2022. Prior to that, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the decision had been made following an appeal from the Donbass leaders. The Russian leader underlined that Moscow had no plans to occupy Ukrainian lands. The purpose is to “protect the people who had been subjected to torture and genocide by the Kiev regime.” The Russian army has liberated the whole Lugansk People’s Republic and large parts of the DPR and Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. In October 2022, these territories acceded to Russia.*jk