Russian troops have been incessantly attacking Ukraine to take full control over the eastern and southern parts of the country. Persistent attacks have pushed the Ukrainian army back to the walls. Russia is seeking to take full control over the Donbas and southern Ukraine.
Russia on Thursday announced the “liberation” of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine after surrounding the port city on the shores of the Sea of Azov for nearly two months.
India and Britain call for an immediate ceasefire
However, India and Britain on Friday called on Russia for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced steps to help move New Delhi away from its dependence on Russia by expanding economic and defence ties.
Since the start of the second phase of the special operation, one of the tasks of the Russian army is to establish full control over the Donbas and southern Ukraine, Major General Rustam Minnekaev was cited as saying by Russian news agencies.
“This will provide a land corridor to Crimea,” he added, referring to the peninsula Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Minnekaev’s comments were the most detailed description yet of Russia’s goals in the second phase of its operation, which began after its troops pulled back from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
“Control over the south of Ukraine is another way out of Transnistria, where there are cases of Russian-speaking people being oppressed,” Minnekaev said.
Transnistria is a small breakaway region in the former Soviet republic of Moldova where pro-Russia separatists have been armed and backed by Moscow.
Moscow had already recognised the independence of the separatist Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in Ukraine’s Donbas shortly before the start of its military campaign on February 24. Moscow’s message was to protect the Russian-speaking population there.