Lavrov says Russia’s goal in Ukraine is now beyond Donbus


London — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov most clearly acknowledged on Wednesday that Moscow’s military “mission” in Ukraine is now beyond the eastern Donbas region and its war objectives have expanded in the last five months. Said that.

Lavrov said in an interview with state news agency RIA Novosti that the geographical reality has changed as Russian and Ukrainian negotiators negotiated peace in Turkey in late March and were unable to make a breakthrough. Stated.

At that time, he said, the focus was on Donetsk and the People’s Republic of Luhansk (DPR and LPR).

“Now the geography is different, not only in DPR and LPR, but also in the areas of Kherson and Zaporizhia and many other territories,” he said, far beyond the Russian military’s total or partial occupation of Donbus. Mentioned the territory.

“This process continues logically and permanently,” he said, adding that Russia may need to go further.

If the West continues to pump Ukraine with long-range weapons such as the US-made High Mobile Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) out of “helpless anger” or a desire to make the situation worse, “it is a geographical task. Means further expansion, further away from the current line, “Rablov said.

Russia could not allow Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky “or his successor” to threaten his territory or the territory of DPR and LPR with a longer-range system, he said. You may not be able to maintain power.

The Foreign Minister is the highest-ranking person who openly talks about Russia’s war goals from a territorial point of view, about five months after Russia began its invasion.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said on March 25 that the first phase of the “special military operation” would be completed and focused on the “main goal of liberating Donbus”.

Almost four months later, it occupied Luhansk, one of the two regions that make up Donbus, but remains far from occupying all the other Donetsks. Over the past few weeks, it has increased missile strikes on cities across Ukraine.

Mark Trevelian