Kremlin calls for more steps to protect Russia's border regions

Kremlin calls for more steps to protect Russia's border regions

On the Ukraine border, the Kremlin is calling for additional measures to strengthen security.

Additional steps will be needed to strengthen Russia's border regions bordering Ukraine because of repeated shelling by Kiev's forces, President Vladimir Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

This came after a Ukrainian artillery strike on Solokhi, a village in Belgorod Region about 11 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, left seven Russian civilians injured and one dead on Wednesday.

Peskov told the press briefing that this is a situation that shows the need to introduce additional measures to strengthen security in regions bordering Ukraine.

He said that the Russian military could comment on other measures that could be taken in connection with such attacks.

On Wednesday, Belgorod Region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on social media about the attack on Solokhi, saying 17 houses and six cars were damaged as a result of the shelling and that a 14-year-old boy was among the injured.

The Belgorod Region has been hit several times by Ukrainian forces in recent weeks, but Solokhi's attack has resulted in a confirmed civilian death.

Russia s Defense Ministry warned that it would intensify its strikes on targets in Ukraine if the country s armed forces continued to carry out attacks within Russia. If such attempts continue, the Russian Federation's Armed Forces will strike at the decision-making centers, including Kiev, which we have so far refrained from, according to the ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov. Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to retake the two republics by force.