Russia war has concluded the first phase of its invasion of Ukraine in what is interpret as an acknowledgement that it has not been able to achieve the objectives it set at the beginning of the military operations.
Sergei Rudskoi, head of the primary operational department of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, assured this Friday that, a month after the start of the invasion, they would focus their efforts on the “complete liberation” of the Donbas region, in the east from the country.
He also said they had considered two options for their “special military operation” (as Moscow calls the invasion): one covering all of Ukraine and one focused on Donbas.
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Failure of the Russian Strategy?
Russia says the “first phase” of what it calls its “special military operation” has been mostly completed, and it will now focus on “the liberation of Donbas.”
It is likely to mean a more concentrated effort to go beyond the “contact line” that separates Ukrainian government-controlled territory in the country’s east and the Russian-backed breakaway “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Western officials believe the announcement implies Moscow knows its strategy has failed. Russia recognizes that it cannot conduct its operations on multiple axes simultaneously,” one official said.
Western officials have been concern that Russia is trying to encircle Ukraine’s best combat units, which are station along the line of contact. If more Russian firepower, particularly airpower, is concentrate in eastern Ukraine, those concerns will grow.
“I hope that is where Western arms supplies will make a significant contribution to the Ukrainian forces,” an official said.
A Message to be Taken with Caution
A reorganization of Russian forces could see troops advance into hitherto unconquered areas of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Suppose Russia finally manages to seize the port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov. In that case, other forces could move north and complete the encirclement of Ukrainian forces, explains the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Paul Adams.
“Some of these goals still seem out of reach. The defenders of Mariupol are waging a fierce fight, preventing Russia from fully achieving another of its pre-war ambitions: a land bridge from the Crimean peninsula to Donbas,” it says.
The Ukrainian military will need all the help to withstand the pressure. If seen in the coming days, a shift in focus to Donbas does not mean that Moscow has abandoned its larger ambitions, Adams says.” We don’t see a reassessment of the invasion as a whole,” a senior US defense official said.
Biden Near the Ukraine Border
Russia’s claim on the current status of its military offensive comes while US President Joe Biden met with his country’s military in Poland, near the border with Ukraine.
In a visit to US troops at the airbase in Rzeszow, the president described the US operations as a “wider struggle between democrats and oligarchs.”
“You are the greatest fighting force in the history of the world,” Biden said. “What is at stake is how their children and grandchildren will be in terms of their freedom,” he added.
The trip comes as polls show most American voters are concerned about his handling of the crisis in Ukraine.
Only a quarter said they were confident in their ability to handle a crisis or effectively command. The US military, according to a survey by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. At the same time, 56% of Americans believe the answer Biden to the Russian invasion of Ukraine “has not been tough enough”.
The UN Will Put Russia’s Permanence in the Human Rights Council to Vote
The General Assembly is planning to vote on Thursday on removing Russia from the Human Rights Council due to its unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
The vote needs two-thirds of the 193 states to remove Russia from the council, which is based in Geneva. The move would be symbolic. However, it may authorize investigations into human rights violations. As he enters his second year of a three-year term on the council.
Convoy of more than 1,000 people manage to leave Mariupol, reports the Red Cross
A team from the International Group of the Red Cross led a convoy of buses and private cars carrying more than 1,000 people to Zaporizhzhia on Wednesday after civilians fled on their own. of besieged Mariupol, Ukraine.
“The arrival of this convoy in Zaporizhzhia is a great relief for hundreds of people. Who have suffered immensely and are now in a safer place. However, it is clear that thousands of civilians trapped inside Mariupol need a safe exit and helps to enter. Pascal Hundt, head of the ICRC delegation in Ukraine, said in a statement.
US and Belgium Reaffirm Commitment to Ukraine
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilms condemned “the atrocities. Committed by the forces of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Bacha and elsewhere in Ukraine and reaffirmed the commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
They noted that, along with other allies and partners, they would continue to impose harsh sanctions on the Kremlin. As it carries out its brutal and unprovoked war in Ukraine
Zelenskyy criticizes “indecision” in reaction to the Russian invasion
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday pushed for more decisive action enacting sanctions against Russia. As the United States and the European Union prepared more punitive measures. And NATO foreign ministers met in Brussels to discuss additional responses to the Russian invasion.
When we hear new rhetoric about sanctions i cannot tolerate any indecision. After everything the Russian troops have done, Zelenskyy told the Irish parliament in a video address.
He reiterated his criticism of European leaders who, according to him, are more concerned about how possible bans on Russian. Energy imports will affect their economies than about the well-being of the Ukrainian people.
Pope Francis Condemns the “Bucha Massacre”
Pope Francis on Wednesday condemn what he called “the Bucha massacre” and raise a blue and yellow Ukrainian flag. Sent to him from the city where bodies were found tied up and shot at close range. A mass grave and other signs of executions.
During the event, he greeted Ukrainian children who had escaped Russia’s invasion of their country.
”This flag comes from the war, from that martyred city, Bucha. Pope Francis said, raising the flag for an audience attended by several thousand applauding people. The flag was seen in dark tones instead of the bright yellow and blue colours that distinguish the Ukrainian insignia.