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How Putin was ‘pushed’ into Ukraine war – Berlusconi

Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has defended Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, saying Russia’s leader was “pushed” into the conflict.

Accordingtothe85-year-old,Russianforcesweresentintooverthrowthecurrentadministrationandinstall“goodpeople”initsplace.

TheRussianPresidenthasalong-standingsupporterinthethree-termItalianprimeminister.

InanItaliangeneralelectionthisweekend,hispartyis expected to take power asamemberofaright-wingcoalition.According to Mr. Berlusconi, the media in Moscow promoted the myth that the Ukrainian government was massacreing Russian speakers in the country’s east.

He claimed that Mr. Putin was forced to start a limited invasion as a result of the reporting, which was supported by separatist groups and nationalist politicians in the Russian government.

The Russian people, his party, and his ministers “pushed Putin to invent this unique operation,” he claimed.

Mr. Berlusconi said, “The army were meant to enter, arrive in Kyiv in a week, remove the Zelensky administration and replace it with moral people, and then return in a week.

Instead, they encountered an unexpected opposition that was later fueled by weapons coming from the West.

Despite Mr Berlusconi’s past friendship with Mr Putin, and Mr Salvini’s criticism of Western sanctions on Russia, Ms Meloni, who is expected to lead any potential government, has pledged to continue Italy’s support of Ukraine.

“The war in Ukraine is the tip of the iceberg of a conflict aimed at reshaping the world order,” she said earlier this month. “So we have to fight this battle.”...

—national daily

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