Vladimir Putin’s forces have been defeated at Kyiv, but he’s not done with their invasion yet, U.S. officials said.
Mikhail Klimentyev | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration warned Monday that Russian forces are expected to intensify their military operations in Ukraine after weeks of stalled ground advances.
“When Russia started this war, its initial aims were to seize the capital of Kyiv, replace the Zelensky government and take control of much if not all of Ukraine,” national security advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters at the White House, adding “Russia believed that it could accomplish these objectives swiftly and efficiently.”
He said U.S. officials believed the Kremlin is now revising its goal in the war. “Russia is repositioning its forces to concentrate its offensive operations in eastern and parts of southern Ukraine, rather than target most of the territory,” Sullivan said, citing the military’s failure to capture Kyiv.
For the past five weeks, Russian forces on the ground in Ukraine have been beset with a slew of logistical problems on the battlefield, including reports of fuel and food shortages.
“All indications are that Russia will seek to surround and overwhelm Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine,” Sullivan said. “We anticipate that Russian commanders are now executing the redeployment from northern Ukraine to the region around the Donbas.”
He added that Russia’s renewed ground offensive in eastern Ukraine will likely also “include air and missile strikes across the rest of the country to cause military and economic damage, and frankly, to cause terror.”
FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows a residential building destroyed by shelling, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in the settlement of Borodyanka in the Kyiv region, Ukraine March 3, 2022. Picture taken with a drone.
Maksim Levin | Reuters
A senior U.S. Defense Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of the Pentagon’s thinking, said the…
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