Russia on Thursday voiced regret at its suspension from the UN Human Rights Council over its invasion of Ukraine, which it said had caused “significant" troop losses, but vowed to defend its interests.
“We’re sorry about that," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Britain’s Sky News after the UN General Assembly voted to suspend Moscow from the rights council as punishment for the invasion.
“And we’ll continue to defend our interests using every possible legal means," he insisted.
“We have significant losses of troops. And it’s a huge tragedy for us," Peskov added, without specifying a toll. Russia in late March said it had lost 1,351 soldiers with another 3,825 wounded.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman also defended the causes and course of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
“Mariupol is going to be liberated from nationalistic battalions. We hope it is going to happen sooner than later," he said of the devastated port city.
Peskov rejected allegations of a massacre in the Ukrainian town of Bucha as “a well-staged insinuation", claiming that bodies found in the streets were placed after Russian troops withdrew.
“We are living in days of fakes and lies which we meet every day," he said, speaking in English by video link from Moscow.