In a statement made during a military event, a senior Russian military commander named Rustam Minnekayev made it extremely clear that Russia seeks “full control” over the southern part of Ukraine. He also added that Russia aims to capture the whole of Ukraine’s Donbas region as well as the territory linking it to the Crimean Peninsula.
Why is Russia probing control over Southern Ukraine?
“Control over southern Ukraine is another way out of Transnistria, where there are claims of oppression of the Russian-speaking population”, he commented during his controversial speech. Transnistria is a small Russian-speaking breakaway region that is located at a strategic position along the border of western Ukraine. Even though it claimed independence after the fall of the Soviet Union, it’s not recognized internationally and remains a part of Moldova.
Is Putin planning something big?
Over the course of the ongoing conflict, President Vladimir Putin has made several identical claims. His comments seemed to indicate that the Russian President has more ambitious targets for the offensive than what he has been revealing to the outside world. The President on several occasions has commented on the alleged discrimination of Russian speakers in Ukraine. All along Russia has asserted the liberation of the Donbas region as its main goal; however, statements like these have raised questions about its true intentions in the region.
Reaction from Ukraine
The defense ministry of Ukraine denounced the comments of the Russian commander by referring to them as Russian “imperialism”. A tweet made by Ukrainian officials stated that Russia has acknowledged that the goal of the war is not victory over the Nazis but simply the invasion and occupation of southern Ukraine.
According to BBC reports, Russian defense officials have clarified that they are looking into the comments of the commander. The Moldovan and Ukrainian foreign ministries have been contacted to comment on the same.
Published By: Aman Gupta
Edited By: Vanshika Sahu