Today Russian President Vladimir Putin sensationally claimed that Ukraine's army is a NATO proxy whose geopolitical aim is to constrain Russia.
This is what he said :
"This is not the army, per se, this is a foreign proxy, in this case a foreign NATO legion, which, of course, doesn't pursue the objective of national interests of Ukraine.
"They have entirely different goals, and they are tied with the achievement of the geopolitical goals of containing Russia, which absolutely does not fall in place with the national interests of the Ukrainian people."
"We often say: the Ukrainian army, the Ukrainian army. But in fact, who's fighting there? Indeed, there are, in part, official units of armed forces, but for the most part it's the so-called 'volunteer nationalist battalions,'" Putin added.
[Translation from link above...not mine]
Watch Putin uttering these words, at the link here
Looking at his demeanour and not absolutely convincing delivery I am not sure he fully believes everything he is saying..[just my opinion - I think he may have just been trying to 'rubbish' the Ukrainian fighters..but said more than he intended to say.]
Some commentators suggest Putin's assertions may be a pretext to admit the presence of Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, but as a peacemaking force protecting the interests of Ukrainians themselves.
But his strategists and advisers, in the words of a Townes van Zandt song, 'tell him lives he loves to believe'.. making it all ok. The lies will become ever more incredible..and dangerous.