Photo: Sgt. Brittany A. Chase/US Air Force Staff/DoD / Courtesy
The Russians have said they are withdrawing forces from around Ukraine’s capital city of kyiv, and so far, reports show that some but not many of the Russian forces have moved away from the area, Pentagon press secretary John F. Kirby said at a news briefing Tuesday.
Kirby analyzed where those troops are going and why they are likely to it is not so much a sign of willingness to put an end to a bloody and illegal warbut rather the repositioning of forces elsewhere to focus on alternative and potentially more successful military objectives.
A real, credible, imphewould require a complete withdrawal of all Russian forces in Ukraine.
“You have an opportunity here, an opportunity that you have missed many, many times over the last month to end this war and to do so responsibly and to negotiate in good faith,” Kirby said. “We hope they do. But the war could end today if Mr. Putin did the right thing and actually withdraw all his forces from Ukraine and respect Ukrainian sovereignty.”
From the beginning, the Russians have tried to mislead the world and their own people about their intentions for Ukraine, he noted.
We have seen that Russia has now tried for a month to sell this war of theirs to its national audience as a ‘liberation of Donbas’”
John F. Kirby, Pentagon Press Secretary
“However, the intensified rhetoric over the past year and in the run-up to Russia’s invasion has shown that the Kremlin’s true intention was to overthrow the democratically elected government and occupy or annex large portions of Ukraine,” the senior Department official said. defense.
How Russia plans to achieve that goal
Kirby described a three-pronged approach to how the Department of Defense has assessed that Russia might have planned to achieve that goal.
In the north and northeast, he said, the Russians concentrated their efforts on the cities of Kyiv, Chernihiv and Kharkiv.
“That whole northern grouping was really engineered against the capital city, the effort to isolate kyiv,” he said.
Down in the southern part of the Ukraine, coming out of Crimea, the Russians divided their forces northeast against Mariupol and then northwest to Kherson, where they also tried to take Mykolayiv, which they have been unable to do.
In the east, in Donbas, there has already been conflict there for eight years and the Russians have put more resources there to further their goals.
All those efforts were believed to be part of a Russian effort to subjugate Ukraine. But so far, the effort has been unsuccessful, Kirby said.
“Now we think they are going to prioritize the east,” he said. “They have stalled in the north, and the progress they had made in the early days in the south has now stalled.”
Despite Russian promises to move out of kyiv, Kirby said, the city cannot be considered safe. It is still at risk from continued Russian aggression.
Kirby said that it is now unclear what actions Russia will take next in Ukraine, or what its ultimate goals are there.
Russian Defense Ministry reports, he said, have been misleading and amount to efforts to Reframe recent missteps as intermediate steps to your ultimate goals.
“It is too early to judge what further action the Kremlin may take,” Kirby said. “No twist can mask what the world has witnessed over the last month, and that is the courage and military prowess of Ukraine’s armed forces and its people, who are proving more than Russia bargained for in their unprovoked invasion. and unjustified.”
Behind that military prowess, Kirby said, are years of military training for Ukrainians by the United States, allied and partner countries, as well as continued material support, support that will continue, he said.
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