Russia to expand Ukraine’s ‘demilitarized zone’ – Putin


Russia needs to create a large “demilitarized zone” in Ukraine, one that is big enough to ensure no longe-range weapons can strike Russian cities, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday

Russian border regions have been subjected to frequent drone and missile attacks, as well as shelling by the Ukrainian military, since the start of the conflict between Kiev and Moscow. One of the deadliest attacks took place on December 30, when Kiev’s forces struck the Russian border city of Belgorod with multiple rocket launchers, including the RM-70 Vampire – an upgraded heavier version of the Soviet BM-21 Grad system.

A strike in December claimed the lives of 25 people, including children, and left more than 100 injured. In January, another massive strike hit the city of Donetsk, killing 27 civilians. Both attacks were condemned by the UN.

“This [demilitarized] line should… lie at such a distance from our territory that it would ensure the security [of Russian cities],” the president said on Wednesday, adding that he was specifically referring to protection from “foreign-made longer-range weapons that the Ukrainian authorities use to strike peaceful cities.”

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