Kremlin Says Russia Is in a ‘State of War’ in Ukraine Due to West’s Involvement

Russia has previously only referred to its operations in Ukraine as a 'special military operation'

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that Russia was in a “state of war” in Ukraine, marking a shift in rhetoric as Moscow has been referring to the conflict as a “special military operation.”

“We are in a state of war. Yes, it started out as a special military operation, but as soon as this group was formed, when the collective West became a participant in this on the side of Ukraine, it became a war for us,” Peskov said.

He added that it did not mean the legal status of the military operations have changed. “This does not imply any legal changes. It is [still] a special military operation de jure,” he said, according to Russia’s TASS news agency. “But de facto – in fact – it has turned into a war for us as the collective West increasingly and more directly enhances its involvement in the conflict.”

His comments came as Russia was ramping up missile strikes in Ukraine in what was seen as retaliation for Ukrainian forces stepping up attacks on Russian territory, which have included drone attacks, raids by militias, and artillery shelling of the border regions.

Ukrainian officials said Russia’s missile strikes on Friday were one of the heaviest attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure of the war. Five people were reported killed, and over a million experienced blackouts.

The heavy missile strikes also come as Western leaders have been speaking much more openly about NATO’s involvement in the war. French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested multiple times now that the alliance should consider sending troops, and his bellicose rhetoric has shined a light on the fact that there is a small presence of NATO special operations forces in Ukraine, which has been an open secret for more than a year.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.