Russia has changed its plan to take over Ukraine, with the goal now to exhaust the country rather than conquer new territory, UK intel says

Russian President Vladimir Putin at an awards ceremony throughout a go to to the headquarters of the Southern Army District, December 31, 2022.Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photograph by way of AP, File

  • Russia’s plan to manage Ukraine has modified and now focuses on making an attempt to exhaust it, UK intel stated.

  • That is a swap from its earlier precedence of making an attempt to overcome new territory.

  • Ukraine and its allies have warned that Russia goals to win by carrying down Western assist.

Russia’s present plan to take over Ukraine is to exhaust the nation and its navy over a protracted marketing campaign, slightly than specializing in taking new territory, in line with the most recent report from the UK Ministry of Defence.

In an intelligence update on Friday, the MOD stated that Russia’s marketing campaign now “probably primarily seeks to degrade the Ukrainian navy, slightly than being centered on seizing substantial new territory.”

It added: “The Russian management is probably going pursuing a long-term operation the place they financial institution that Russia’s benefits in inhabitants and assets will finally exhaust Ukraine.”

The technique outlined by the MOD matches what specialists say Russia has been doing recently.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy additionally stated in January that Russia was making an attempt to “exhaust” it with drone strikes.

Carrying down Ukraine might probably result in a peace deal the place Russia features territory, or a state of affairs the place Ukraine’s allies tire of giving it new weapons, and its navy then turns into simpler to defeat.

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The UK protection ministry stated this technique shift occurred over the previous couple of weeks, and contrasts with Russia’s earlier method.

After launching its invasion in February 2022, Russia tried to grab the entire nation and depose its authorities. After that failed, it then centered efforts on taking on the east and south of Ukraine.

Russia had anticipated to take Ukraine’s capital in simply two days, US officers stated.

However as an alternative it was pushed again to the east by Ukraine’s military, the place the 2 sides have been grinding away ever since.

The ministry additionally famous that Russia has been making an attempt to “management” Ukraine since 2014, and that its invasion got here after years of assaults by Russian-backed separatists within the east and the annexation of Crimea.

Western leaders have lengthy warned that Russia’s technique entails exhausting Ukraine and its allies, to the purpose the place the international locations supporting Ukraine cease or considerably cut back the navy assist they provide it.

Nikolai Patrushev, the pinnacle of Russia’s Safety Council, stated final summer season that Putin’s plan is to attend out Europe’s assist, realizing he would not should reply to his individuals.

Putin “is a really affected person man. He can afford to attend six to 9 months. He can management Russian society way more tightly than the West can management its society,” Patrushev stated.

The UK protection ministry replace means that this technique has now began to impression Russia’s battlefield ways.

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