Russian President Vladimir Putin is endeavouring to build a pro-Russian empire stretching from "Vladivostok to Lisbon", a former Russian president has warned.
Ex-president and deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said Putin launched his brutal invasion of the former Soviet republic to bring peace to Ukraine, in a Telegram post.
The shocking allegations were made as Western leaders shared fears Moscow is planning a new military offensive in southern and eastern parts of Ukraine.
Medvedev said: "To change the bloody and full of false myths consciousness of a part of today’s Ukrainians is the most important goal.
"The goal is for the sake of the peace of future generations of Ukrainians themselves and the opportunity to finally build an open Eurasia – from Lisbon to Vladivostok."
He further accused "Nazis, murderers and collaborators" of stirring up "Russophobia" in Ukraine since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The ex-Russian leader also said Putin's "special military operation" in Ukraine was undertaken in a bid to "demilitarise" and "de-Nazify" the country.