Putin: The Kharkiv attack aims to establish a “buffer zone” to confront Kiev attacks

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Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed on Friday that Moscow’s attack in the Ukrainian Kharkiv region aims to create a buffer zone to confront attacks targeting Russia.

Putin said during a press conference in the city of Harbin in northeastern China: “I previously warned that if Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory continue, we will be forced to establish a security buffer zone, and this is what we are doing.”

He added, “What is happening in the direction of Kharkiv, they (the Ukrainians) also bear responsibility, because they bombed and continue to bomb residential areas in the (Russian) border areas, including Belgorod.”

Regarding the possibility of invading the city of Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, Putin stressed: “We are not planning for that at the present time,” stressing that the Russian army is making military advances “daily” in that region.

Ukraine had previously announced that it had slowed down Russian military advances in the Kharkiv region, where the situation remains “very difficult,” according to statements by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Russian forces entered near Kharkiv a week ago, opening a new northeastern front in the war that has been largely fought in the east and south for nearly two years.