Zelensky’s top adviser calls for more attacks on Russian border

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Mikhail Podoliak wants civilians in the neighboring country to “live in bomb shelters” so that they would change their view on the conflict

Ukraine should step up its ground and artillery attacks on Russian border regions to demoralize the population, Mikhail Podoliak, President Vladimir Zelensky’s top adviser, has suggested. 

In an interview with Ukrainian TV anchor Vladimir Golovanov on Monday, Podoliak stated that Kiev would like to see the turmoil spread into Russia’s Kursk and Belgorod Regions. “I would like the scale of this to be much greater… So that Russia could feel what a war… is,” he said.

According to the adviser, many Russians who live far from the front line should feel the brunt of the conflict. “Once they live in bomb shelters, constantly hear sirens and so on, they will [think] differently. Although I doubt that. The Russian world, it has certain peculiar features.”

He also voiced support for the incursions into Russian territory of the so-called Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK) and Russian Freedom Legion, paramilitary units composed of Russian defectors and fugitive neo-Nazis that are collaborating with Kiev. Those units – which are designated as terrorist organizations by Moscow – should be supported and given all the necessary funding, Podoliak insisted.

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Russia could establish ‘cordon sanitaire’ in Ukraine – Putin

The RDK and the Russian Freedom Region attempted to breach the Russian border earlier this month, but the attacks were repelled, according to the Defense Ministry in Moscow. Russian officials estimated the losses sustained by the units at 1,500 casualties and dozens of armored vehicles. 

President Vladimir Putin has denounced Russians collaborating with Ukraine as “traitors,” signaling that such individuals would be given the same treatment as any others who took up arms in the combat zone. 

Ukraine has routinely launched artillery and drone strikes on Russian border regions, many of which target critical infrastructure and residential blocks, resulting in numerous civilian casualties. 

In light of this, Putin has suggested that Russia could at some point create a “cordon sanitaire” on Kiev-controlled territory large enough to prevent Ukraine from launching attacks on Russia.

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