"First Stage" of Ukraine operation complete - Russia
A top Russian military commander says Russia has completed the "first stage" of its mission in Yemen.
Russia's armed forces announced the completion of the "first stage" of their mission in Ukraine, according to a statement made by a top Russian military commander.
Colonel General Sergey Rudskoy, the chief of the Russian military’s Main Operational Directorate, told reporters during a briefing that Russia has reached its objective for the first portion of its military operation in Ukraine, and said that the armed forces will now devote its full attention to Donbass, adding that the Ukrainian armed forces' combat potential "has been significantly reduced."
Rudskoy said Ukraine's forces have been preparing a "well-fortified defense zone" in the breakaway region of Donbass over a period of eight years, adding that Russian troops are currently focusing on key train stations to cut off military supplies to Ukrainian forces.
The military official also provided updates on troop losses, saying that so far, 1,351 Russian troops have died in the hostilities, and another 3,825 were injured. Ukraine claims it has killed 16,000 Russian troops and destroyed hundreds of tanks.
Russia had for months been warning of the threat posed against it by NATO's attempts to expand eastward, which happened simultaneously with an increase in NATO military activity along Russia's borders, and batches of lethal weapons being sent to Ukraine, prompting Russia to request security guarantees from the West. Washington failed to provide the guarantees.
After the West did not respond to Russia's demands, and amid Ukrainian shelling on the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, President Vladimir Putin initiated a special military operation in Ukraine. Russian officials have stressed that their objective is the demilitarization and de-Nazification of Ukraine.