Putin says: I 'always think' about Russia's losses in Ukraine

Russian President Putin attends a news conference in Astana

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he constantly thought of Russian soldiers who have fallen in Ukraine, but said Moscow had no choice but to launch what Moscow calls its "special military operation."

Putin said that the costs of the conflict - including to the Russian economy - were unavoidable, and that Russia was strengthening its sovereignty.

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)