Russia has become stronger as a result of the conflict in Ukraine – just as it did by defeating Hitler and Napoleon – its foreign minister has claimed.

In a wide-ranging series of assertions, Sergei Lavrov said the “hybrid war” that the West is supposedly waging against Russia is based on “cancel culture”.

He also claimed that the West’s “500-year domination of the world” is coming to an end.

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Mr Lavrov – who is sanctioned by the UK and the EU – said the West was trying to exhaust Russia in Ukraine.

“It is up to the Ukrainians to recognise how deep they are in the hole where the Americans put them,” Mr Lavrov said of the war.

When asked what the chances were of diplomacy to bring about a ceasefire or peace, he said: “You’ll have to call Mr Zelenskyy because a year and a half ago he signed a decree prohibiting any negotiations with Putin.”

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He argued that Russia has become stronger due to the conflict in Ukraine, just as it became stronger by defeating Napoleon and Hitler in the past.

Moscow does not routinely release numbers of its casualties in the war, but Ukraine claims to have killed more than 338,000 Russian personnel since the start of the February 2022 invasion.

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