Russia says it wants to create ‘buffer zone’ in Ukraine

Russia says it wants to create ‘buffer zone’ in Ukraine
Russia says it wants to create ‘buffer zone’ in Ukraine / bne IntelliNews
By bne IntelliNews March 19, 2024

The only way to protect Russian territory from Ukrainian attacks is to create a buffer zone, the Kremlin has said.

Speaking on March 18, following President Vladimir Putin's re-election victory speech, where he broached the idea, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that a zone between Russia and Ukraine was the best way to protect Russians.

"Against the backdrop of drone attacks and the shelling of our territory: public facilities, residential buildings, measures must be taken to secure these territories,” Peskov said. "They can only be secured by creating some kind of buffer zone so that any means that the enemy uses to strike us are out of range."

In recent weeks, Russia’s border regions have increasingly been targeted by Ukraine. This includes incursions across the border, as well as drone strikes on locations like oil refineries.

On March 17, Putin hinted at the potential creation of what he dubbed a "sanitary zone" in the territory of Ukraine.

"I do not exclude that, bearing in mind the tragic events taking place today, that we will be forced at some point, when we deem it appropriate, to create a certain 'sanitary zone' in the territories today under the Kyiv regime," Putin said.

In response, Ukraine claimed that Putin’s comments were a sign of escalation. 

"This is ... a direct manifest statement that the war will only escalate," Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak told Reuters. "All this is direct evidence that the Russian Federation is not ready to live in modern social and political relations, taking into account the absolute sovereign rights of other countries.”