Vladimir Putin has finally referred to his invasion of Ukraine as a 'war' - breaking his own law against the use of the word.
Previously, the Russian tyrant had always labelled the bloody ten-month conflict a 'special military operation' and banned any reference to the true nature of his barbaric campaign.
Thousands of Russians have been punished, with some jailed and others fined, for describing the invasion as a 'war' - and now opposition leaders are demanding that Putin faces the same treatment.
Speaking to journalists, Putin said: 'Our goal is not to unwind this flywheel of a military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war.
We strive for this and will strive for it.'
His comments appeared to hint at a desire to stop the conflict, but Ukraine and his Russian foes fear it is a trick.
Instead, they want him to be prosecuted for breaking his own law preventing Russians using the word.
St Petersburg politician Nikita Yuferev has formally called on the Russian Prosecutor General's Office and Interior Ministry to initiate a criminal case against Putin for spouting 'fakes about the army'.
'Vladimir Putin called the war a war, saying our goal is "to end this war",' he said.
'Several thousand people have already been convicted for such words about the war.'
Exiled Putin foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky - once Russia's richest man - highlighted Mr Yuferov's demand on Twitter.
Putin has not gone through the formal legal mechanisms for declaring war against Ukraine - or against Nato, which he and his officials claim is fighting Russia.
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