ISW: Russia’s maximalist invasion goals in Ukraine remain unchanged

It seems unlikely that the Kremlin has given up on its far-reaching goals in Ukraine, despite Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov first saying that Fly the current territorial objective is to fully capture the four partially occupied ones Ukrainian areas, it should be noted ASV based think tank “Institute for the Study of War”

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On December 8, Peskov took the opportunity to further reduce the possibility of reaching the peace negotiating table by expanding of Russia President Vladimir Putin’s December 7 remarks on the “acquisition of new Russian territories”. “protect the people of southeastern Ukraine and Donbass.” Press secretary also said that there is no talk of annexing new territories, as “there is still a lot to do to fully occupy the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions.”

Peskov, however, has repeatedly stressed that the Kremlin continues to implement its “demilitarization” and “denazification” goals in Ukraine, which shows that Russia is still trying to implement regime change and eliminate Ukraine’s ability to resist further Russian attacks or pressure. In other words, the Kremlin’s goals remain unchanged from those set after the withdrawal of Russian forces from Kijiva. Peskov’s comments were not indicative of Russia’s other war goals or demands, the think tank concludes.

On the other hand, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, has announced that fighting in Ukraine, despite the recent decrease in the pace of fighting, could intensify this winter. Milli’s assessment differs from US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haynes’ Dec. 3 prediction that the pace of warfare in Ukraine will slow over the winter so that fighting can resume in spring 2023.

Milli’s statement said Ukrainian forces will be able to take advantage of the weather as winter favors mechanized warfare in Ukraine. ISW believes that Ukrainian forces are preparing to take advantage of the frozen ground to move more easily than they could during the muddy autumn months and that Kiev’s future operational success depends on its ability to continue continuous operations through the winter.

Meanwhile Germany chancellor Olaf Scholz On December 8, it was announced that the risk of a Russian nuclear attack is currently low. Scholz said that “Russia has stopped threatening to use nuclear weapons because the international arena has drawn a red line.”

Both Scholz’s and Putin’s statements suggest that while Russian officials may use nuclear noise and intimidation rhetoric, Russian officials have no intention of actually using them on the battlefield, ISW writes.

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