An aide to Ukraine’s president said Monday a 100-120 km (62-75 mi) demilitarized zone should be established inside Russia along the border with Ukraine as part of a post-war solution. .
Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter that the zone was needed to protect Ukrainian regions from Russian attacks.
“The main theme of the post-war settlement is the establishment of safeguards to avoid a recurrence of aggression in the future,” he wrote.
He made his remarks after the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, called for television commentary on the annexation of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region to stop Ukraine’s cross-border shelling.
Moscow says Ukraine has stepped up drone and sabotage strikes against targets inside Russia as it prepares for the attack. Kiev has denied firing on targets inside Russia, saying it is waging a defensive war on its territory.
In order to ensure the safety of residents in some frontline areas of Ukraine, he wrote, “it is necessary to establish a demilitarized zone with an area of 100-120 km on the territory of the republics of Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk and Rostov.”
The mention of Russian regions as republics seems to be a nod to Moscow’s support of separatist entities calling themselves “people’s republics” in the Donetsk and Luhansk of Ukraine, bordering Russia.
Podolyak said the demilitarized zone may initially have an international presence to control it.
“Perhaps, at an early stage with a mandatory international control team,” he wrote.
(Reporting by Max Hunder, Editing by Timothy Heritage)