In a press conference after his visit to Uzbekistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin apparently stated that Russia’s military operations in Ukraine will not stop. He also clarified that currently one of the main goals is “to liberate the entire territory of Donbass”. He further stated that the Russian military is not fighting at its full strength.
“Our offensive operation in Donbas does not stop,” Vladimir Putin said at a summit in Uzbekistan. “They’re moving forward — not at a very fast pace, but they’re taking up more and more territory little by little.”
Currently, Russian forces are mainly present in four Ukrainian regions – Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Kherson. The upcoming goal of the Russian military is to occupy as much Ukrainian territory as possible while holding on to the territories that have already fallen.
Notably, in a previous statement on July 7, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted at a major offensive regarding Ukraine. But after more than six months of conflict, Russia has still not achieved its stated military goals in Ukraine. The ongoing war in Ukraine began on February 24, 2022 with the mobilization of Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine.
The President of Ukraine had promised a similar goal
In June, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that almost a fifth of Ukraine’s territory was under Russian control. Addressing MPs in Luxembourg’s Chamber of Deputies, he said: “To date, about 20 percent of our territory is under the control of the occupiers. Almost 125,000 square kilometers. That is much larger than the area of all Benelux countries combined.” He added to his statement that around 12 million Ukrainians have been internally displaced, while more than 5 million have fled the country.
Moreover, the President of Ukraine made similar vows when he promised to retake the Crimea and Donbass regions from Russian control during a televised address amid the Kherson offensive. In addition, the Ukrainian military has changed tactics from a defensive stance to a counter-offensive against the Russians.
Russia-Ukraine War: What Does the Future Hold?
According to the latest intelligence report from the British Ministry of Defense, Ukrainian forces are involved in an offensive in the north-east of the country. The Ukrainian military has also captured most of the Kharkiv region, including the city of Izium, which had served as a key Russian supply hub.
On the other hand, Russian troops successfully established a defensive line between the Oskil River and the town of Svatove.
As of September 12, more than 14,000 civilian casualties have been recorded, including 5,827 confirmed deaths, due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, according to a report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (United Nations).