War in Ukraine: the Russian army will now focus on the “liberation of Donbass”, in the east of the country, announces its staff

The Russian army claims to have achieved the initial objectives of the military operation it has been conducting in Ukraine since February 24. Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff, Sergei Rudskoy, announced on Friday March 25 that Russian troops would now concentrate on the “release” from eastern Ukraine. “The combat capabilities of the Ukrainian forces have been significantly reduced, which allows (…) to concentrate the bulk of the efforts on the main objective: the liberation of Donbass”, he said during a press briefing.

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Negotiations that skate

Pro-Russian separatists have created two “republics” recognized by Moscow in this industrial region in the eastern part of Ukrainian territory. The Vice-President of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, echoing Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric, had stressed that the current military operation should “continue until it achieves its goal of demilitarizing and denazifying Ukraine”.

At the same time, the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations seem to be slipping. “The positions converge on the secondary points. But on the main [questions] politicians, we are treading water”, thus released Vladimir Medinski, the chief Russian negotiator. The talks are “very difficult”added the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kouleba, denying all “consensus” at the moment with Moscow.

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