The capture of Donbass by Kiev will cause ‘domino effect,’ Mikhail Podoliak says
Ukraine’s current military aims in the conflict with Russia are protecting critical infrastructure and attempting to capture the territories of Donbass republics, Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, has revealed.
The first goal for Kiev is to assure the protection of critical infrastructure facilities with air defense systems, Podoliak wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
The move is “obligatory” because, according to the aide, “Russia fights against civilians.” Moscow has been insisting since the start of the conflict that its forces only target Ukrainian troops and military facilities.
The second goal is capturing the areas controlled by the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, he said.
The “liberation” of Donetsk and Lugansk will cause a “domino effect,” leading to the collapse of the front and political destabilization in Russia, Podoliak believes.
Achieving those tasks is “possible,” he insisted, but added that “weapons [are] required” to do so, apparently addressing Kiev’s western backers.
The statement by Zelensky aide follows a Ukrainian counteroffensive last week, which saw Russia withdrawing its troops from Izyum and some other settlements in the Kharkov region.
Moscow claimed it decided to “regroup” its forces to strengthen its contingent in Donetsk, while Kiev celebrated the move as its victory.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.
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