Russia to Focus on Taking Donbass after Month-long War with Ukraine

  • Our Bureau
  • 04:32 AM, March 26, 2022
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Russia to Focus on Taking Donbass after Month-long War with Ukraine
Map showing Donbass, scene of current Russian combat focus

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has asserted that the main tasks of the first stage of the combat operation in Ukraine have been completed.

The first stage involved weakening the combat potential of the Ukrainian Army. The next stage will focus on the "liberation of Donbass."

On Friday, state-controlled media quoted Sergei Rudskoy, head of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Federation as saying: "In general, the main tasks of the first stage of the operation have been completed. The combat potential of the armed forces of Ukraine has been significantly reduced, which allows, I emphasize once again, to focus the main efforts on achieving the main goal - the liberation of Donbass.”

Ukrainian MoD reported little or no Russian ground activity since Thursday around the capital, Kyiv, though several airstrikes took place. In addition, A Ukrainian MoD claim of destroying a Russian Landing Ship Tank (LST) in the port of Berdyansk on the Sea of Azov Thursday was confirmed by the Pentagon.

Russia to Focus on Taking Donbass after Month-long War with Ukraine
Russian landing ship transport (LST) seen burning after Ukrainian strike @Ukrainian MoD

Pentagon Assessment matches Russian MoD claims

"It's interesting that the bulk of [Russian] air activity is really only Kyiv, Chernihiv — which remains a very bloody fight — and then the Donbass," a Pentagon official said during a background briefing Friday. "That's where we're seeing the air activity. So again, all of that sort of reinforces this idea that, at least for the moment, they don't appear to want to pursue Kyiv as aggressively or frankly at all. They are mostly focused on the Donbass.”

"It appears that the Russians are, at least for the moment, not pursuing ... a ground offensive towards Kyiv," the official said. "They are digging in. They are establishing defensive positions. They don't show any signs of being willing to move on Kyiv from the ground."

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