3 Months into Russia's war against Ukraine: What to expect for the upcoming battles? | DW News
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has surprised many military analysts - who expected fighting to be over very quickly. Instead, the three-month-old war has exposed unexpected weaknesses in Russia's forces. Heavy troop losses are reporttedly hurting morale even more, and the war's initial aims have been severely scaled back. So just how - and why - has Russia's army performed so badly?
UK officials see Russia closing in on Luhansk
"Russia has increased the intensity of its operations in the Donbas as it seeks to encircle Severodonetsk, Lyschansk, and Rubizhne," the UK Ministry of Defense tweeted in In its latest intelligence update. At the same time, UK officials noted "strong Ukrainian resistance with forces occupying well dug-in defensive positions." "Russia’s capture of the Severodonetsk pocket would see the whole of Luhansk Oblast placed under Russian occupation," they said. At the same time moving the frontline further west "will extend Russian lines of communication and likely see its forces face further logistic resupply difficulties," according to the British ministry. Ex-Russian diplomat describes atmosphere in Russian Foreign Ministry Boris Bondarev, who until Monday was listed as the Counsellor to the UN at Russia's mission in Geneva, warned that his Russian colleagues were growing nonchalant when considering nuclear weapons' use. "They think that if you hit some village in America with a nuclear strike, then the Americans will immediately get scared and run to beg for mercy on their knees," Bondarev told the The New York Times. "That’s how many of our people think, and I fear that this is the line that they are passing along to Moscow," he added. Bondarev's job in Switzerland was focused mainly on arms control and disarmament issues.
Zaporizhzhia region to use the ruble, says Russian-backed Melitopol leader
The Russian-backed head of the military-civilian administration of occupied Melitopol, Galina Danilchenko, said that rubles will be the accepted in the Zaporizhzhia region, according to an interview cited by Russian state-run RIA news agency. Danilchenko noted that residents would be expected to exchange Ukrainian hryvnias for Russian currency. "You can pay with rubles for all the services of enterprises, purchase raw materials for the production of your own products, ship products to the buyer and receive ruble proceeds to your current account," she said.
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