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RussiaThe Ministry of Defense said on Friday that the first phase of its military operation was “generally” over, saying the country would focus on the “liberation” of Ukraineeast from the east Donbass Region.
The Defense Ministry said Russian-backed separatists now control 93% of Lugansk and 54% of Donetsk, the self-proclaimed republics of eastern Ukraine. The two together are commonly referred to as the Donbass region.
“The main objectives of the first stage of the operation have generally been achieved,” Sergei Rudskoi, head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate, told a briefing.
In Friday’s announcement, Russia also seemed to imply that MoscowUkraine’s invasion of Ukraine could turn to more limited goals, adding that the main objective of the operation was the “liberation of Donbass”.
“The combat potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been significantly reduced, which … allows us to focus our basic efforts on achieving the main goal, the liberation of Donbass.”
Russia changed its objectives in Ukraine throughout the war. The Russian President, Vladimir Poutineearlier stated that the “denazification” of the Ukrainian leadership – generally understood as regime change – was the primary motivation for the invasion.
Michael Kofman, director of the Russia Studies program at the CNA think tank, tweeted on Friday that the military briefing suggested Russia would focus on “taking as much Donbass as possible,” while saying Donbass was always the main focus of what the Kremlin is referring to. to a “special military operation”.
“I had an assumption that the most minimal goals Moscow could have at this point are to try to take all of Donbass, seek a political settlement, and then turn around and pretend it’s really the purpose of this operation in an effort to save something. and declare victory,” Kofman tweeted.