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Zelensky Worried Russia Might Capture Other Countries after Ukraine

Zelensky Worried Russia Might Capture Other Countries after Ukraine
folder_openEurope... access_time2 months ago
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By Staff, Agencies

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is worried that Russia's military operation in Ukraine is just the beginning, as he warned that “Moscow has designs on capturing other countries.”

Zelensky drew the conclusion after a Russian general said Moscow wants full control over southern Ukraine.

"All the nations that, like us, believe in the victory of life over death must fight with us. They must help us, because we are the first in line. And who will come next?" Zelensky campaigned in a video address last night.

Rustam Minnekayev, deputy commander of Russia's central military district, was quoted by Russian state news agencies as saying that full control over southern Ukraine would give it access to Transnistria, a breakaway part of Moldova in the west.

Ukraine fears that in this scenario, its entire coastline would be cut off, and that Russian forces would push hundreds of kilometers further west, past the major coastal cities of Mykolaiv and Odesa.

The statement was one of the most detailed about "Moscow's ambitions in Ukraine and suggests Russia does not plan to wind down its offensive there anytime soon."

Meanwhile, Ukraine's defense ministry referred to Commander Minnekayev's comments as showing that Russia was no longer hiding its intentions.

Moscow, the ministry said on Twitter, had now "acknowledged that the goal of the 'second phase' of the war is not victory over the mythical Nazis, but simply the occupation of eastern and southern Ukraine. Imperialism as it is."

Russia started it special military operation in Ukraine in late February, following the latter’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.