southern Ukraine

Russia envisions seizing southern Ukraine. This is to open a route to the separatist region of Transnistria in Moldova.

Maj Gen Rustam Minnekayev specified that Moscow would seek to take full control over southern Ukraine. This is in addition to the eastern Donbas region. This is the prime objective of the Russian authorities. In addition, Transnistria is a small Russian-backed region that borders Ukraine.

It is vague that Gen Minnekayev’s comments got officially sanctioned. However, Russian defense officials told the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg that they are looking into the general’s comments.

The comments offer insight into Russia’s potential plans in the coming weeks. A senior EU official told Reuters that Russia is likely to intensify its attacks in eastern Ukraine. This is along the southern coast in the upcoming days. This adds that the next two weeks may become decisive in the war.

European Council President Charles Michel highlighted Russia’s miscalculations and losses in its invasion of Ukraine.

The small Russian-speaking breakaway region, Transnistria, borders Ukraine from the west. It claimed independence after the fall of the Soviet Union in a bloody conflict.

However, it is under no recognition internationally and officially remains part of Moldova. A small group of 1,500 Russian troops also stationed in the region in 1995 as part of a truce agreement. Gen Minnekayev, deputy commander of Russia’s central military district, was speaking at a military event in the Sverdlovsk region.

Gen Minnekayev said that “Control over the south of Ukraine is another way out to Transnistria, where there are also facts of oppression of the Russian-speaking population.”Mr. Putin made similar claims. So it was about discrimination against Russian speakers in Ukraine before launching the invasion.

Ukraine’s defense ministry denounced Gen Minnekayev’s comments as Russian “imperialism”.Ukrainian officials in a Twitter post said Russia’s goal in the second phase of the war is the occupation of eastern and southern Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also stated that Russia plans to hold a series of sham independence referendums. These are in occupied regions to create a series of pro-Russian breakaway states.

Credits: BBC

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