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Lavrov says Russia aims to go beyond Donbass

The “geographical objectives” of the “special operation” changed due to the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine, RIA Novosti quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying.

According to Lavrov, the objectives now include not just “DNR” and “LNR.”

He again cited Vladimir Putin's words about “denazification and demilitarization,” but added that a different geography was discussed at the March meeting of negotiators in Istanbul and that Russia's willingness to accept the Ukrainian proposal “was based on that geography.” Lavrov also listed the areas now occupied by Russia.

“The geography is different now. It is not just the DNR and LNR, but also the Kherson region, Zaporizhzhia region and a number of other territories, and the process goes on and on consistently and persistently.”

The minister added that the geographic objectives will move further away from the current line as long as the West will continue supplying Ukraine with long-range weapons, such as HIMARS. Russia cannot allow weapons in the part of Ukraine that Vladimir Zelensky or “whoever replaces him” will control, Lavrov stressed. He believes that the weapons would pose a threat to the territory of Russia and the republics that have “declared their independence.”

Earlier in June, Russian permanent representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said that the “special operation” in Ukraine would not end until “the shelling of Donbass by Ukraine stops.”

Since the beginning of the war, the Russian authorities have given few insights on its goals and timeframe. President Vladimir Putin, when announcing the start of the “special operation,” said it was necessary for the “demilitarization and denationalization” of Ukraine. Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, claimed that the war had two goals: to protect the residents of the “LDNR” and to destroy the “militaristic machine” and “denazify” those regions so that “there would be no nationalists there who promote an absolutely anti-Russian, Russophobic course and try to pit Russia and Ukraine against each other.”

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