UKRAINE: Russia states more limited war goal to ‘liberate’ Donbass – Reuters

The announcement appeared to indicate that Moscow may be switching to more limited objectives after running into fierce Ukrainian resistance in a month of war.           

The defence ministry said Russian-backed separatists now controlled 93% of Ukraine’s Luhansk region and 54% of the Donetsk region. They jointly make up the Donbass.       

“The main objectives of the first stage of the operation have generally been accomplished,” Sergei Rudskoi, head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate, said in a speech.

“The combat potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been considerably reduced, which … makes it possible to focus our core efforts on achieving the main goal, the liberation of Donbass.”

A senior diplomatic source in Moscow described it as a face-saving move and possible prelude to a climb-down by Russia. Its forces have become bogged down and failed to take any major city since invading Ukraine from the north, east and south on Feb. 24.

“Their war aims are/were much wider than Donbass, leaving their force divided with poorly coordinated attacks on multiple fronts by unprepared troops,” the source said.

“I’d anticipated the possibility of a refocusing of effort back on Donbass, but while Putin rhetoric remains maximalist we need to see more evidence on the ground.”

‘DEMILITARISE AND DENAZIFY’

President Vladimir Putin says Russian forces are on a special operation to demilitarise and “denazify” Ukraine.

The West and Kyiv call that a false pretext to invade a democracy, saying his true goal was to topple the government.

Russia has also said it will insist that Ukraine accept the loss of Crimea, which Russia seized in 2014, and recognise as independent the Donbass, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian army for the past eight years.

Ukraine says it is willing to negotiate an end to the war but will not surrender or bow to ultimatums.

Rudskoi said Russia’s military had considered confining its operation just to Donbass but opted for extending across Ukraine to damage its military infrastructure and tie down forces so as to prevent them reinforcing the east.

Russia did not rule out storming cities, he said, but as its military completed tasks “our forces and resources will be concentrated on the main thing – the complete liberation of Donbass.”

Rudskoi said 1,351 Russian soldiers had died in the operation and 3,825 been injured. Ukraine’s military has said some 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in combat.

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  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/28/2022 at 6:03 pm

    Biden Said Out Loud in Poland What The Whole World Already Knew

    Lucian K. Truscott IV

    EVERYBODY BUT JOE BIDEN SEEMS TO HAVE FORGOTTEN THE AGE-OLD RULE THAT HE WHO STARTS A FIGHT HAS TO LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES. That is what Biden was telling the world when he said of Putin, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” He started it, Biden said, but we’re going to finish it.

    The day the first tank tread crossed the border from Russia into Ukraine the world was compelled by common decency to stop caring what Putin thinks and start caring about the Ukrainians, whose territory he invaded, whose cities he was destroying and whose citizens he was murdering.

    That the leader of the nation who started the first land war in Europe since World War II cannot be permitted to retain the power and position to do such a thing again is not just stating the obvious, it is taking the moral stand backed up by every bullet fired in opposition to his aggression. Without such moral authority, the Ukrainians who have lost their lives will have died in vain, for they are fighting not only for their land and their possessions and their lives, but for the right to continue to exist as who they are with what is theirs.

    The outcome of their fight is not up to Vladimir Putin. It cannot be any more than the lands taken by Hitler’s armies in 1939 and 1940 and 1941 could remain under his control rather than in the embrace of those who lived in them. That would include, in case you’ve forgotten the history of those times, the very lands being fought over once again in Ukraine.

    What Putin has wrought in Ukraine is existential in the sense of the lives and lands of the Ukrainian people, but it is greater even than that. A lesson must be taught and the lesson must be learned. That is what happened in GERMANY and JAPAN after World War II.

    In the case of that war, whole nations had to be defeated and occupied for decades to ensure that the lesson of what happens to aggressors when they lose was driven home and stayed there. That is not going to happen in the case of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The rest of the world is not going to defeat Russia and occupy its lands with foreign armies to punish its aggression.

    Somehow, we had convinced ourselves that the atomic bomb had brought a halt to wars of aggression, at least, on the European continent. Nuclear deterrence was supposed to have solved what could be called the Hitler/Hirohito problem.

    Putin proved us wrong when he started his war, but now we have to prove him wrong by helping Ukraine defeat Russian aggression and teach Russia the lessons of World War II all over again, but in a new way. We erased what there was left of Germany’s and Japan’s imperial ambitions by altering both countries forever by occupying them and gradually bringing them back into the world of civilized nations by helping to rebuild their economies with trade and cultural exchange.

    THE FREE WORLD, IF YOU WILL, IS NOT GOING TO MILITARILY DEFEAT RUSSIA AND OCCUPY ITS LANDS, BUT WE CAN DO THE SAME THING IN REVERSE. We went into GERMANY and JAPAN to force a change in their behavior as nations. BY STAYING OUT AND TURNING RUSSIA INTO AN ECONOMIC, CULTURAL, AND PHYSICAL PRISON, WE CAN ACCOMPLISH THE SAME THING.

    Instead of going in and occupying Russia, we’ll keep them out of everywhere else. Russia cannot continue to exist as an economically viable country under those conditions. Something will have to change, and that something is Vladimir Putin. Because Russia cannot survive under the unprecedented sanctions that have been imposed, PUTIN CANNOT SURVIVE.

    This will have the effect of forcing Putin to negotiate an end to the war in Ukraine that will include his own domestic political survival. This is good for Ukraine and good for us, because it means one of two things. The sanctions will not end unless Putin is gone as leader of Russia, or Russia is gone completely from Ukraine.

    Zelensky’s power as the leader of a nation under siege comes from exactly this:

    Every time he shows himself on television, he’s telling Vladimir Putin, if you want to stay in power, give me Ukraine back. All of it. Putin must accept a defeat on the battlefield in order to achieve the win of political survival at home.

    TO STATE THE OBVIOUS, PUTIN AND UKRAINE CANNOT COEXIST. That’s what Joe Biden said out loud in Poland, and he was correct on the facts and correct morally. You can’t do much better than that. Sometimes stating the obvious is the right thing to do.

  • wally n  On 03/28/2022 at 6:36 pm

    Blah blah blah blah watermarks blah blah blah Biden crime family blah blah blah barges off GITMO blah blah blah blah ballot fraud blah blah blah fake stream media blah blah blah Greatest Heist of Our History blah blah blah blah you are in my prayers blah blah blah tearing up and praying for you guys!!!!! blah blah blah Sidney Powell blah blah blah blah help the cavalry come blah blah blah Fraud Exposed blah blah blah this war is psychological PSYOP blah blah blah blah email I sent Jared blah blah blah (I don’t want to wake you) blah blah blah buck up your team blah blah blah blah existential threat blah blah blah evil just moves fast blah blah blah blah tears are flowing blah blah blah cave to elites blah blah blah blah swallowing the obvious fraud blah blah blah So proud of you!! blah blah blah blah Listen to Rush Mark Steyn Bongino Cleta blah blah blah blah censorship mongers blah blah blah the end of America blah blah blah blah great teams of patriots for DJT!! blah blah blah blah no frickin consequences blah blah blah Biden to be anointed blah blah blah I am done ….
    The right talks crap…but you must take my opinions seriously blah blah blah

    • Chris  On 03/28/2022 at 11:25 pm

      The pariah Putin is done as a member of the G7 and G20 club of nations.

      He troubles have only just begun.

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