Putin = War Criminal
- Apr 18, 2013
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
In five weeks of brutal fighting Russian forces have been humbled by dogged Ukrainian resistance, and forced to rethink any ambitions to sack the capital or overthrow the democratically elected government.
Ukraine's president warned Russian troops are regrouping in preparation for a renewed assault in the east Thursday, as he dismissed Kremlin promises to scale back attacks on the capital Kyiv. With shelling of Kyiv and Chernigiv continuing despite a Russian vow to "reduce" military activity by "a large margin," Volodymyr Zelensky told his war-torn nation to brace for a new Russian onslaught in the eastern Donbas region. "We don't believe anyone, not a single beautiful phrase," Zelensky said in a late-night video message. "There is an accumulation of Russian troops for new strikes in Donbas and we are preparing for it." "We will fight for every metre of our land," he said. In five weeks of brutal fighting Russian forces have been humbled by dogged Ukrainian resistance, and forced to rethink any ambitions to sack the capital or overthrow the democratically elected government. Western intelligence agencies have been keen to underscore Russia's military failings, and to push suggestions that President Vladimir Putin is being misled by his own fearful advisors about battlefield reverses. Military experts believe that with thousands of Russian troops killed and many thousands more injured, Moscow has no choice but to ditch efforts to advance simultaneously along multiple axes in the north, east and south.
There are growing indications that Russia's focus is turning to the east, and capturing more towns and cities in Donbas including the besieged port city of Mariupol — even as the long-range assault on other cities continues. Russia's Ministry of Defense on Thursday claimed that was the plan all along. Both sides initially said the Istanbul meeting had made progress, but the Kremlin on Wednesday played down hopes of a breakthrough. "We cannot state that there was anything too promising," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was similarly pessimistic, saying "the war continues." Against that backdrop, Ukraine's Western allies appear ready to step up military aid for Kyiv and sanctions on Russia. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke of British military aid "going up a gear" and the White House said that President Joe Biden discussed "additional capabilities" in an almost hour-long phone call with Zelensky. The White House said that could include "anti-ship capability" to hit Russian vessels in the Black Sea.
Russia seems to be regrouping its northern front forces in Belarus. Units from deep inside the Russian interior are being moved to Belgorad and Rostov-on-Don near the eastern Ukraine border. A Russian strategy may be to encircle the 60,000 Ukrainian forces that were fighting in the ATO (Donbas) previous to the invasion. The US and allies should pump as many weapons into southern Ukraine as possible. The Russian thrust now will be in the east (Donbas) and the south including Odesa. Javelins, Stingers, NLAW's, and anti-ship missiles. If Mariupol falls, next will be Berdyansk, which is the last major city east of Crimea.
April is the month in Russia when new conscripts are called up and those conscripts who have done their year of service are dismissed. Moscow has some decisions to make.
Russia Plays Down Peace-Talks Progress, Intensifies Attacks in Eastern Ukraine