3 Mar 2022 12:51

No Russian troops in Kharkiv - Lavrov

MOSCOW. March 3 (Interfax) - There are no Russian troops in Kharkiv, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"There are no Russian troops in Kharkiv, yet we can see that foreigners wishing to leave, in particular, through Russian territory, are not allowed to depart from the Kharkiv rail terminal. We are ready to take in these students," Lavrov said at a press briefing in Moscow on Thursday.

He cited as an example a situation involving Indian students who were unable to leave Kharkiv. "Only yesterday the Indian prime minister talked to the president of Russia, concerned that an Indian student died in Ukraine, in Kharkiv," Lavrov said.

He dismissed the allegations by a Western journalist that Russian troops were killing civilians in Ukraine. "I cannot comment on fiction, of which there is a great deal now. Europe, the U.S., mainly European countries have been trying in every possible way to shut down any media outlet, any source and channel of information from Russia about what is going on in Ukraine, how the special military operation is unfolding and how the Ukrainian army, particularly the Ukrainian neo-Nazi battalions, are behaving towards peaceful residents. When they retreat, they simply rob populated areas, taking away from locals their cars and equipment; they act like looters and thieves," Lavrov said.

Also, "there is lots of information about provocations being plotted, not least in Mariupol and in other areas where Ukrainians have tried to use civilians as human shields," he said.