Russia wants to surround Ukrainian troops fighting in Donbass

London believes Russia is preparing to encircle Ukrainian forces fighting in the Donbass region in the east of the country, moving troops from their positions in Kharkiv in the north and Mariupol in the south.

According to a military intelligence report published this Sunday by the UK Ministry of Defense, Russia “appears to be focusing its efforts on encircling Ukrainian forces that are fighting in the breakaway regions in the east of the country”.

To this end, Moscow is moving troops that were stationed in Kharkiv and Mariupol, where two of the main battles of the war are taking place.

Russia said on Friday that its army’s objective, once the first phase of the war has concluded, is to focus on Donbass, an announcement that the Ukrainian government and its allies received with skepticism.

In Donbass, the leader of the self-proclaimed breakaway republic of Lugansk, Leonid Paschenik, today admitted to holding, “in the near future”, a referendum on the integration of pro-Russian territory into Russia.

“I believe that in the near future a referendum will be held on the territory of the republic, in which people will exercise their absolute constitutional right and express their opinion on whether they want to join the Russian Federation. For some reason, I am sure that this is exactly what will happen,” he said, quoted by the official TASS agency.

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