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Russian generals' fantasies: Experts' insights on buffer zone allegations in Kharkiv region

Russian generals' fantasies: Experts' insights on buffer zone allegations in Kharkiv region Experts comment on Russia's claims about a buffer zone in Kharkiv region (Photo: Getty Images)

Russian generals dream of creating a buffer zone along the border with the Kharkiv region, but that doesn't mean they are capable of implementing it. Currently, the Russian occupiers lack the resources in the Belgorod region to carry out such a plan, military experts Vladyslav Seleznov and Oleksii Hetman commented to RBC-Ukraine.

"What Putin's generals dream of, well, they dream about many things. But it's not a given they can realize it. Moreover, we should understand that the complexes and resources concentrated in the Belgorod region are insufficient to implement such a plan," says the former General Staff spokesman Seleznov to the news agency.

According to him, currently, there are about 26,000 Russian military personnel in the Bryansk, Kursk, and Belgorod regions. And all of them, as the expert notes, are "scarcely stationed" along the entire border of the Sumy, Chernihiv, and Kharkiv regions.

In Seleznov's opinion, the Russian claims about the so-called buffer zone are related to the intensified Ukrainian strikes on the territory of the Russian Federation. Periodically, strikes are aimed at the border town of Shebekino, where components for Russian missiles are produced. Meanwhile, according to Hetman, the Russians themselves might have shelled Belgorod to advance the idea of a buffer zone.

"It is assumed that the Russians shelled their own city with their artillery systems, as they once did with their own buildings to start the Second Chechen War. This talk about a 15-kilometer zone supposedly aims to protect the city from our artillery fire. No one shot artillery there; certain military facilities were attacked by our drones. It's a trick, their propaganda trick," explains Hetman.

There is no need for a buffer zone

According to Hetman, there is no real need to create a "buffer zone," and all discussions about it are nothing more than "blinding" the local population in Russia against the backdrop of news about Russian city shelling.

"This could be seen as a motivational factor for the Russian military. We know they are demotivated there, trying to come up with something to motivate them. They attempted to motivate them with 'grandfathers fought, and now another motivation - they must move forward. Then, talks about dead children, our 'criminal government' shelling civilian populations, the need to make a final push to move our artillery away from Belgorod will follow," he explains.

However, even if the Russians try to create this buffer, Hetman assures that they will not succeed. Moreover, such a 15-kilometer zone is unlikely to help Russia avoid strikes on Belgorod and military facilities.

"So, it's more of a propaganda move rather than a military attempt to protect cities from our attacks," adds the expert.

Rumors about the buffer zone in the Kharkiv region

Recently, Russian dictator's press secretary Dmitry Peskov stated that "military measures will be taken to protect Belgorod from Ukrainian shelling," after which discussions arose in Russia about an offensive on the Kharkiv region to create a 15-kilometer buffer zone.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has mentioned that currently, Russia lacks sufficient forces to repeat an offensive in eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Ground Forces, Volodymyr Fitio, advised Ukrainians to trust only official Ukrainian sources and assured that Russians have no success on the front in the Kharkiv region.

Previously, there were rumors circulating about the intentions of Russian occupiers to advance again towards Kharkiv. However, the Ukrainian Armed Forces reassured Ukrainians, stating there was nothing for Kharkiv residents to worry about as Russia lacked the strength for such an offensive.