< /p> UPDATE DAY
The head of Russian diplomacy said on Wednesday that Russia's military objectives in Ukraine were no longer limited only to the east of the country, but also concerned “other territories” and could still be further extended. 'expand.
In an interview, Sergey Lavrov justified this change by a “different geography” compared to the situation which existed on the ground at the end of March, when Moscow had said it wanted to focus on the east, after having notably failed to take Kyiv , the Ukrainian capital.
“It is no longer just the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (separatist territories in eastern Ukraine, editor's note), it is also the regions of Kherson and Zaporizhya (in the south, editor's note) and a series of other territories, and this process continues, steadily,” he told the Ria-Novosti news agency and the RT channel.
These statements come as Moscow has recorded gains these recent weeks in eastern Ukraine, in particular by breaking the double lock of Severodonetsk and Lyssytchansk, which cleared the way for him to try to advance towards the cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, further west.
Severe fighting continues to take place in this part of Ukraine, however, Kyiv can count on recent deliveries of more efficient Western artillery pieces.
Mr. Lavrov also warned that if the West continued to supply Ukraine with weapons capable of long-range strikes, such as the American HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, Russia's geographical targets would evolve further.
< p>“Because we cannot allow that in the part of Ukraine controlled by [Volodymyr] Zelensky or his successor, there are weapons which can directly threaten our territory or that of the [separatist] republics having declared their independence or wishing to choose only their future,” he said.