"We declared a special military operation because we had absolutely no other way of explaining to the West that dragging Ukraine into NATO was a criminal act," said Lavrov during his interview with BBC.
The Russian top official highlighted Ukrainian President, Vladimir Zelensky'statements back in September 2021 saying "that if someone feels Russian in Ukraine, let them go to Russia."
"When a CNN correspondent told him that Azov Regiment had been put on the list of extremist, terrorist organizations in some Western countries, in the US and Japan, Zelensky shrugged his shoulders and said that they had many such battalions and regiments, and they are what they are," told the Russian FM.
Lavrov for the BBC: Russia did not invade, the West did not want to hear us
He continued to say that the country "had no other way out," adding that the Kremlin explained it on several occasions.
"Now, the Ukrainian regime is attacking civilians, the cities with our Western weapons, the way they were doing it in 2014, when coupists came to power, when they bombed the center of Lugansk from planes, when they burned 50 people in Odessa. Does anyone remember this now?" he asked.
"We didn’t attack anyone. Russians were attacked in Ukraine," highlighted the diplomat.