In his address to the virtual G20 meeting on Wednesday, Putin said that some leaders of the forum had said in their speeches that they were shocked by the war in Ukraine.
“Yes, of course, military actions are always a tragedy,” he told the summit that was called by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“And of course, we should think about how to stop this tragedy," Putin added. "By the way, Russia has never refused peace talks with Ukraine."
The G20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world's major developed and developing economies, comprised of 19 countries and the European Union (EU).
The bloc represents around 85 percent of the global GDP, over 75 percent of global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population – but South Africa is the only member from the continent.
India currently holds the G20 presidency, a position that rotates each year between the member states.
When Russia waged its massive offensive against Ukraine in February last year, Putin called it Moscow’s “special military operation” against Kiev, a term that the Kremlin has since been using. However, Putin on Wednesday used the word "war" to describe the conflict.
“I understand that this war, and the death of people, cannot but shock," Putin said, asking, “And the extermination of the civilian population in Palestine, in the Gaza Strip today, is not shocking?"
Russia started the war in eastern parts of Ukraine in response to Western provocations -- to defend the Russian-speaking population against the Kiev Nazis' atrocities -- by stopping the US-led NATO military forces' eastward encroachment on Moscow which had started in 2014.
The war has almost come to a standstill for the past few months, with Ukrainian troops gaining almost no progress on all fronts despite receiving massive amounts of arms from the US and its allies in Europe.
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