Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during a press conference after attending a summit with leaders of post-soviet countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Astana on October 14, 2022. AFP
"There is no need now for massive strikes. There are other tasks. For now. And then it will be clear," Putin told reporters following a summit of ex-Soviet nations in Kazakhstan. "We do not set ourselves the task of destroying Ukraine."
He spoke days after Russia unleashed a wave of missile strikes across Ukraine, including on the capital Kyiv.
Putin, who sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, is facing increasing isolation and criticism even from allies.
But he said Russia is "doing everything right" in Ukraine -- despite a failed attempt to topple the government and weeks of territorial losses.
"What is happening today is not pleasant. But all the same (if Russia hadn't attacked in February) we would have been in the same situation, only the conditions would have been worse for us," he said.
"So we're doing everything right."
He did however acknowledge that Moscow's ex-Soviet allies are "worried" about the conflict.
"Of course (our) partners are interested and worried about the future of Russian-Ukrainian relations," Putin said.
But he claimed this "does not in any way" affect their relations with the Kremlin.
He also said he had no plans to expand mobilisation in Russia, which he announced on September 21 in a move that sparked panic and an exodus from the country.
"Nothing additional is planned. No proposals have been received from the defence ministry and I don't see any additional need in the foreseeable future," he said.
He said 222,000 people have been mobilised out of a target of 300,000.
"Within about two weeks, all mobilisation activities will be completed."