Russian troops captured the city of Kreminna in what Russia is calling the “second phase” of its Ukraine campaign.
Unlike Russia’s attempt to take Kiev in the first phase, the Russian army will have less logistical issues in the second phase as the Donbas borders Russia. Pro-Russian separatists had already controlled one-third of the Donbas before the war and Russia has pushed even further West.
More than 8,000 troops are stationed in Izyum, which stands on the frontlines between the Ukrainian and Russian controlled areas of the Donbas. This is set to be a major focal point of the conflict in the coming days. If Russia can successfully soften up Ukrainian defenses with increased shelling and airstrikes, then the Russian army will be able to March west and completely take the region.
Putin’s goal in the Donbas is to finish taking the two Oblasts of Luhansk and Donetsk, thus linking the Donbas up with Crimea. If Russia pulls that off, Putin can call the war a success.
Given the fact that Mariupol is about to fall as Russia prepares to bomb the last hold outs of the Nazi affiliated Azov Brigades – creating the link between the Donbas and Crimea just got far easier.
Despite Western propaganda, Russia appears poised to accomplish the conquering of the Donbas and in doing so can claim some sort of victory over Ukraine.