Commander says management of southern Ukraine would give Moscow entry to the Russia-backed Moldovan area, Transnistria.
Russia plans to grab the Donbas area and southern Ukraine, a army official stated, explaining the latter transfer was a “approach to Transnistria“, the Russia-backed breakaway area in Moldova.
Rustam Minnekaev, deputy commander of Russia’s central army district, made the announcement on Friday at a gathering in Sverdlovsk, in line with Russian media.
He stated capturing Donbas would allow Moscow to forge a land bridge between the Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula it annexed in 2014, and the jap area.
“Management over the south of Ukraine is one other approach to Transdniestria, the place there may be additionally proof that the Russian-speaking inhabitants is being oppressed,” Minnekaev stated, with out offering particulars of the alleged oppression.
Transdniestria (Transnistria), the place an estimated 1,500 Russian troops are based mostly, borders Ukraine. Kyiv fears the area could possibly be used as a launchpad for brand spanking new Russian assaults.
A slim strip of land held by pro-Russian separatists, it runs alongside the east of Moldova and involves inside about 40km (25 miles) of the Ukrainian port of Odesa.
Earlier this month, Ukrainian officers stated that an airfield within the area was being ready to obtain plane and be utilized by Moscow to fly in Ukraine-bound troops, allegations Moldova’s defence ministry and authorities in Transnistria denied.
Ukraine’s Defence Ministry denounced the plans as “imperialism”.
“They stopped hiding it,” the ministry stated on Twitter.
It stated Russia had “acknowledged that the objective of the ‘second section’ of the struggle just isn’t victory over the legendary Nazis, however merely the occupation of jap and southern Ukraine. Imperialism as it’s.”
Minnekaev’s remarks got here a day after Moscow claimed it had absolutely “liberated” Ukraine’s southeastern port metropolis of Mariupol, other than the sprawling, Soviet-era Azovstal metal plant which Ukrainian forces have made their final stronghold there.
Whereas Kyiv acknowledged Moscow had management of most of Mariupol, it stated town was nonetheless in Ukraine’s arms, whereas Washington dismissed Russia’s claimed victory as disinformation.
Minnekaev was cited as saying by Russia’s RIA information company that media studies of Russian army setbacks had been huge of the mark.
“The media are actually speaking rather a lot about some failures of our armed forces. However this isn’t the case. Within the first days … the ways of Ukrainian items had been designed to make sure that, having pulled forward, particular person teams of Russian troops fell into pre-prepared ambushes and suffered losses,” he stated.
“However the Russian armed forces in a short time tailored to this and adjusted ways.”
In accordance with RIA, he stated that day by day missile and different strikes towards Ukrainian forces meant Russia may do critical harm with out shedding troops.