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Putin: Russia seeking to create ‘buffer zone’ near Kharkiv and has no plans to capture city ‘as of today’

Source: Meduza

Russia has no plans to capture Kharkiv “as of today,” President Vladimir Putin said Friday while on a visit to China. Speaking at a press conference in the city of Harbin, Putin claimed that Russian forces are conducting offensive operations in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region in order to create a “buffer zone” to prevent attacks on Russian border areas. 

“As for what’s happening on the Kharkiv front. This is also [Ukraine’s] fault, because they have shelled and, unfortunately, continue to shell residential areas of the border territories, including Belgorod,” Putin said, as quoted by Interfax. “And I said publicly that if this continues, we will be forced to create a security zone, a buffer zone. This is what we’re doing.”

Asked if Russia intends to capture Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, Putin claimed “there are no such plans as of today.” 

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