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Russia Officially Announces Its Intention To Capture Kharkiv For The First Time

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Russia Officially Announces Its Intention To Capture Kharkiv For The First Time

ISW analysts assessed Lavrov's threat.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during an interview with Russian propagandists, announced Russia’s plans to capture Kharkiv. Analysts at the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) analyzed Lavrov’s words.

Analysts note that Lavrov's statement about the possibility of occupying Kharkiv was the first among Russian senior officials. During an interview with Russian propagandists, he called Kharkiv “a possible operational target for Russia.”

Lavrov pointed out that Kharkiv plays a key role in the Russian president’s concept of creating a demilitarized “sanitary zone” in Ukraine, which should protect Russian border settlements from attacks by Ukrainian forces.

He also recalled that Putin very clearly expressed his opinion about the need to advance Russian troops far into Ukraine in order to remove Russian settlements outside the zone of Ukrainian strikes.

“This requirement is very vague, and may even apply to the entire territory of Ukraine. After all, as long as there is an independent Ukrainian state, it will want to defend itself,” ISW notes.

Analysts note that Lavrov's statements confirm the Kremlin's intentions to use the concept of permanently changing the demilitarized “sanitary zone” to justify Russian offensive operations in Ukraine.

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