"Negotiations are in limbo" and Russia: We lost 1,351 soldiers and focus on liberating Donbass

"Negotiations are in limbo" and Russia: We lost 1,351 soldiers and focus on liberating Donbass  On Friday, the Russian army acknowledged the killing of 1,351 of its soldiers in Ukraine, and at a time when a Russian official confirmed that the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations were "on hold" on the main points, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that most of the first phase of its military operation in Ukraine had been completed.  A Russian official confirmed that the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations were "lost in place" on the main points.  The Russian Defense Ministry announced that most of the first stage of military operations in Ukraine had been completed, and that it would focus on the complete "liberation" of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine.  This announcement appears to indicate that Russia may turn to more limited targets after facing fierce Ukrainian resistance in the first month of the war.  The Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian-backed separatists now control 93 percent of Ukraine's Luhansk region and 54 percent of Donetsk region, both of which make up the Donbass region.  The chief of the Main Operations Department of the Russian General Staff, Sergei Rudskoy, said that "the main goals of the first phase of the operation were generally achieved.  "The combat capabilities of the Ukrainian armed forces have been greatly reduced, which makes it possible to focus our main efforts on achieving the main goal of liberating Donbass," he added.  Rudskoy said 1,351 Russian soldiers had died in action and 3,825 were wounded.   The Russian military has not released an official figure for the number of dead and wounded since March 2, when it said 498 soldiers had died.  The Ukrainian military said about 15,000 Russian soldiers had died in the fighting.  The Russian army said Friday that it does not rule out storming the Ukrainian cities that it has besieged, and that Russia will respond immediately to any attempt to close the airspace over Ukraine, an order Kyiv requested from NATO, but the alliance refused for fear of direct confrontation with Russian forces.  The Russian General Staff stated that its military operation in Ukraine will continue until the Russian forces complete the tasks that have been set, without clarifying those tasks.  Rudskoy said that the Russian army had studied two options for its operations in Ukraine, one of which was limited to Donbass and the other to the entire territory of Ukraine, before choosing the second option.  Britain said on Friday that Ukrainian forces had regained control of towns east of Kyiv, and that Russian forces that had been trying to seize the capital were retreating because supply lines had outstripped their means, in a sign of a shift in fighting momentum.

On Friday, the Russian army acknowledged the killing of 1,351 of its soldiers in Ukraine, and at a time when a Russian official confirmed that the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations were "on hold" on the main points, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that most of the first phase of its military operation in Ukraine had been completed.

A Russian official confirmed that the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations were "lost in place" on the main points.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced that most of the first stage of military operations in Ukraine had been completed, and that it would focus on the complete "liberation" of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine.

This announcement appears to indicate that Russia may turn to more limited targets after facing fierce Ukrainian resistance in the first month of the war.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian-backed separatists now control 93 percent of Ukraine's Luhansk region and 54 percent of Donetsk region, both of which make up the Donbass region.

The chief of the Main Operations Department of the Russian General Staff, Sergei Rudskoy, said that "the main goals of the first phase of the operation were generally achieved.

"The combat capabilities of the Ukrainian armed forces have been greatly reduced, which makes it possible to focus our main efforts on achieving the main goal of liberating Donbass," he added.

Rudskoy said 1,351 Russian soldiers had died in action and 3,825 were wounded.


The Russian military has not released an official figure for the number of dead and wounded since March 2, when it said 498 soldiers had died.

The Ukrainian military said about 15,000 Russian soldiers had died in the fighting.

The Russian army said Friday that it does not rule out storming the Ukrainian cities that it has besieged, and that Russia will respond immediately to any attempt to close the airspace over Ukraine, an order Kyiv requested from NATO, but the alliance refused for fear of direct confrontation with Russian forces.

The Russian General Staff stated that its military operation in Ukraine will continue until the Russian forces complete the tasks that have been set, without clarifying those tasks.

Rudskoy said that the Russian army had studied two options for its operations in Ukraine, one of which was limited to Donbass and the other to the entire territory of Ukraine, before choosing the second option.

Britain said on Friday that Ukrainian forces had regained control of towns east of Kyiv, and that Russian forces that had been trying to seize the capital were retreating because supply lines had outstripped their means, in a sign of a shift in fighting momentum.
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