Russia has officially acknowledged that it wants to seize both the east and the south of Ukraine
The Russian army called the task of Russian troops in the "second phase of the special operation" to establish "complete control over Donbass and southern Ukraine."
Details: According to a military official, the Russian army must establish "full control over Donbass" during the "second stage of the special operation."
According to him, "control over Donbass will create a land corridor to the Crimea and affect vital facilities of the Armed Forces."
And "control over the south of Ukraine will give the Russian Armed Forces another way out to Transnistria, where there are facts of oppression of the Russian-speaking population," said the deputy commander of the Central Executive Committee of the Russian Federation.
He did not specify how many "phases" of the war Russia is planning.
It will be recalled that before the start of the war, Russia denied plans to attack Ukraine at the highest level, and then Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion.
The main arguments for the war called "special military operation" were the so-called "liberation of Donbass", ie an even larger capture of eastern Ukraine, as well as the pretended danger to Russia in the event of Ukraine's accession to NATO.
Advancing in eastern Ukraine, Russia continues to deny plans to seize Ukraine and overthrow its legitimate government, while Western intelligence believes that Kyiv and control of Ukraine remain Putin's main goals.
The Kherson region is almost completely under the control of the Russian army, the Luhansk region by 80% , and fierce fighting in the Donetsk region.
According to local authorities and Ukrainian intelligence, the Russians plan to hold a pseudo -referendum in the Kherson region soon - probably on April 27 or May 1 .
The goal of the occupiers is to annex the occupied territories of the Kherson region and part of the Zaporizhia region to the territories of Donbass under their control , as well as to " mobilize " Ukrainians from the south for the war against Ukraine.
The Russians have already stopped releasing residents of the Kherson region who want to evacuate.