First Donbas, then the rest of Ukraine, and after them the "rogue" countries on the Moscow line

First Donbas, then the rest of Ukraine, and after them the “rogue” countries on the Moscow line

Not going beyond the occupation of Donbas, the largely pro-Russian region of eastern Ukraine, does not now seem to be the ultimate goal of the invasion. The Moscow press says so, that no longer hides the ultimate ambitions.

According to him Moscow TimesVladimir Putin-backed separatists announced the capture of the strategic Ukrainian town of Lyman on Friday as other pro-Kremlin groups cheered the ever-increasing pace of an alluded Russian advance into eastern Ukraine.

The claim followed days of heavy fighting in Lyman, located on a highway leading to the main cities of eastern Ukraine, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, where the foreign press is having difficulty following the fighting. Unverified images, released earlier this week, showed the Russian flag raised on a local government building.

Moscow’s forces have made gains in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions in recent days, Ukrainian officials admit, raising fears that its troops may soon encircle major cities, including Lysychansk and Severodonetsk.

Russian soldiers stormed a hotel in northeast Severodonetsk, Lugansk region governor Serhei Haidai tweeted on Friday.

Reports of military gains and newly captured territory in eastern Ukraine have provided a boost to supporters of Russia’s military campaign, leading to a sense of victory among pro-Kremlin bloggers.

“Perhaps now we are witnessing a turning point in the war,” said the administrator of the pro-Kremlin channel Voenny Osvedomitel, which has 451,000 subscribers. “After the loss of Donbas, the Ukrainian military may finally start to fall apart.”

kyiv has refrained from commenting.

Ukraine controlled 10% of the Luhansk region just over a week ago, but now it controls around 5%, Haidai said last weekend. “It is clear that our guys are slowly withdrawing to more fortified positions; we need to contain this horde.”

But for the pro-Russians, victory is close and inevitable. “Once you get to the West, other pro-Western countries must start to worry,” said an editorialist for the official TASS news agency. It is unclear whether he is referring to Moldova or Poland. But it is unlikely to include Hungary, which in the last two days has fully aligned itself with Moscow, as in the days of the Cold War.

Videos of Ukrainian forces retreating west, and fierce Russian shelling, were widely shared online this week. It has been confirmed that Russia has stationed a large number of troops and equipment around the town of Popasna, where it recently made a breakthrough trying to maximize its firepower on a small sector of the front.

By concentrating its forces in this way, Russia has been able to make some territorial gains, according to Robert Bell, a former NATO official and a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Russian troops are currently reported to be fighting both east and west of Popasna, attempting to encircle Ukrainian forces in the city of Severodonetsk.

If they were successful, a battle for Severodonetsk would likely look like “Mariupol on a smaller scale,” according to Nikolaus von Twickel, a former OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) staffer who investigates the Donbass region.

Taking Severodonetsk would give Russia almost total control of the Luhansk region, one of the goals set by the Kremlin when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to cross the border with Ukraine in late February, it said. Moscow Times.

In recent days, supporters of the Kremlin’s “special military operation” have taken to social media to express a sense of optimism for a continued Russian advance, the outlet emphasized.

“No matter how much the other side tells us that they have killed Russian special forces, paratroopers and marines, and Chechens, and all elite units, look what we see now, writer and extreme nationalist Zakhar Prilepin posted on Telegram.

At the start of the war, Russia was forced to scale back its ambitions in Ukraine by failing to enter kyiv and regrouping its forces in the east in an attempt to capture the entire Donbas region.

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