In an interview with Russian state media, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia’s military focus in Ukraine is no longer “only” the east of the country.
He further implied that the change in Moscow’s strategy was influenced by the supply of longer-range weapons to Ukraine, as Russia would now need to push Ukraine’s defences away from the front line to secure its boundary and ensure the safety of the citizenry.
The US had earlier accused Russia of trying to take over a large portion of Ukraine’s territory.
Earlier in the year, Russia invaded Ukraine under the false pretence of a need to liberate Russian speakers in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region from genocide attacks. and five months after, Russia succeeded in occupying parts of the east and south of the country. However, it has failed to capture Kyiv, which was its main objective.
The West has been helpful to Ukraine since February. It has supplied Ukraine with powerful long-range weapons to defend itself against Russia.
Mr Lavrov says that the movement has propelled Russia to rethink its objectives and restrategize.
“We cannot allow the part of Ukraine controlled by [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky… to possess weapons that would pose a direct threat to our territory; the geography is different now,” Mr Lavrov said in the interview with Margarita Simonyan.