Silvio Berlusconi: Ex-PM defends Russian war on eve of Italian election

1 week ago 12

By Matt Murphy
BBC News

Silvio Berlusconi with Vladimir PutinImage source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Mr Berlusconi with Mr Putin during a arguable sojourn to the annexed-Crimean peninsula successful 2015

Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has defended Vladimir Putin's penetration of Ukraine, saying Russia's person was "pushed" into the conflict.

The 85-year-old said Russian troops were meant to regenerate the authorities with "decent people" past leave.

The three-time Italian PM is simply a semipermanent state of the Russian President.

This play his enactment is expected to instrumentality powerfulness arsenic portion of a right-wing conjugation successful a wide predetermination successful Italy.

A communicative alleging the Ukrainian authorities was slaughtering Russian speakers successful the eastbound of the state was created by the media successful Moscow, Mr Berlusconi told Italian TV.

He said the reporting, pushed by separatist forces and nationalist politicians successful the Russian government, had near Mr Putin with nary prime but to motorboat a constricted invasion.

"Putin was pushed by the Russian population, by his enactment and by his ministers to invent this peculiar operation," helium said.

"The troops were expected to enter, scope Kyiv successful a week, regenerate the Zelensky authorities with decent radical and a week aboriginal travel back," Mr Berlusconi added.

"Instead they recovered an unexpected resistance, which was past fed by arms of each kinds from the West."

Mr Berlusconi has agelong been an admirer of Mr Putin, successful 2012 joining the then-prime curate for a skiing travel successful the Russian metropolis of Sochi.

But successful April, helium condemned the penetration and said helium was "deeply disappointed and saddened" by Mr Putin's behaviour, adding that the "massacres of civilians successful Bucha and different localities are existent warfare crimes".

The Forza Italia enactment person is presently campaigning arsenic portion of a right-wing conjugation up of Sunday's wide election.

His centre-right enactment is the inferior spouse of the alliance, which is anchored by Giorgia Meloni's hard-right Brothers of Italy and Matteo Salvini's populist Lega Nord party. Polls person suggested the bloc volition triumph a majority.

Despite Mr Berlusconi's past relationship with Mr Putin, and Mr Salvini's disapproval of Western sanctions connected Russia, Ms Meloni, who is expected to pb immoderate imaginable government, has pledged to proceed Italy's enactment of Ukraine.

"The warfare successful Ukraine is the extremity of the iceberg of a struggle aimed astatine reshaping the satellite order," she said earlier this month. "So we person to combat this battle."

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