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Is there a turning point in Ukraine?

Ukraine’s Zelensky urges Russia to negotiate, while Moscow appears to downplay its neighbor – Reuters

“It is too early to tell whether Russia will change its strategy,” French President Emmanuel Macron said before the latest statement from the Russian Defense Ministry.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed in a March 25 press conference that the first phase of military operations in Ukraine since February 24 has been completed and will soon focus on the region’s Donbass region. Eastern Ukraine. “The combat effectiveness of the Ukrainian armed forces has been greatly weakened, so we can focus on the main goal of liberating the Donbass,” said Russian Army Chief of Staff Sergei Rutskoy.

Since 2014, Donbass has been the site of fighting between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces, centered on the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. According to General Rudskoi, Russia has “liberated” 93 percent of Luhansk and 54 percent of Donetsk.

According to Western military analysts, Russia appears to be narrowing its targets in Ukraine. At the beginning of the campaign, Moscow expressed its desire to “demilitarize and destroy fascists in neighboring countries”. And, if it is only necessary to “liberate” the Donbass, then, first of all, Moscow does not need to send troops to Ukraine from the north, east and south.

For his part, Mr Rudskoi stressed that Russia’s “military operation” consisted of two phases: initially limited to the Donbass, but later expanded to a range of cities, with the aim of attacking military infrastructure. This. This. This. This. weapons and soldiers to prevent Ukraine from consolidating its power. Rudskoi also announced that Russia had successfully surrounded the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, as well as the two cities of Kharkov and Chernihiv, and took full control of Kherson in Zaporozhye, according to Russian radio.

With a variety of long-range missiles, artillery and drones, the Ukrainian military can overwhelm the world, said Ben Hodges, a former U.S. military commander in Europe. sexual relations. Defense attack.

It appears that on the evening of March 25, local time, Russian President Vladimir Zelensky declared in response to Mr. Rutskoy’s speech that the resistance of the Ukrainian army “has dealt a heavy blow to Russia”.

Reuters, citing Western military assessments, said Russia was unable to control any major Ukrainian city despite the fighting entering its second month. Even the city of Mariupol in the Donbas region was heavily bombed by Russia. Still in the hands of the Ukrainian army.

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. defense official told ABC Radio that Russian troops around Kyiv were “on the defensive.” “The air strikes are still there, but Russia is no longer conducting ground attacks in Kyiv,” the official said on March 25.

Likewise, British intelligence “buried” two columns of Russian armored vehicles northwest and east of Kyiv. Even the Ukrainian army repelled the Russian army in the east, “recaptured many towns and set up a defensive barrier 35 kilometers away from Kyiv”, and tried to surround Irpin, Butcha, and Khostomel in the northwest of the Russian army. suburbs. .

On the same day, on March 25, the Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Ukrainian Army, Alexander Gruzevich, said that Russia would need three to five times as many troops to conquer Kyiv and that Moscow could not establish a land corridor along the coast. . . the South China Sea connecting the Crimean Peninsula and the planned Donbass region.

However, the ABC quoted a U.S. defense official as saying Ukraine could retake Kherson, a key port city south of and directly above Crimea. “If the Ukrainian army recaptures Kherson, the Russian troops stationed around the nearby city of Nikolayev will be in danger and the plan to launch a ground attack on the coastal city of Odessa will fail,” the official said. . said the office. said the office. This office explains.

In the face of this situation, President Zelensky continued to call on Russia to negotiate, but affirmed that he would not give up an inch of Ukraine in exchange for peace, according to the Associated Press. While affirming that negotiations with Russia were “very difficult”, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kouleba stressed on March 25: “The Ukrainian delegation stands firm, that is, a ceasefire, ensuring security and territorial integrity. Ukrainian territory”. . .

Difficult to fill gaps in Russian gas

The European Union (EU) and the United States announced on March 25 that they had reached an agreement to supply at least 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States to Europe this year to help the Old Continent. Reduce dependencies. About oil and gas. Energy supply from Russia. In the long run, the United States will ensure a stable supply of 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year

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