Russian forces operating in the Donbas region are set to launch a “bloodthirsty” attack in an urgent attempt to expand their territory. Putin’s target to conquer the eastern region of Ukraine has forced the Russian military to engage in a “war of attrition” that troops will struggle to maintain for the long term. Retired Air Vice-Marshal, Sean Bell explained the Russian invaders had resorted to desperate strategy in order to achieve Putin’s military aims despite weakening resources.
Speaking to Sky News, the military expert said: “They’ve got clear objectives and that is Luhansk falling first and then Donetsk.”
He continued: “They’re trying to do that in a much more militaristic way now, in bite-size portions.
“The first part of that is Severodonetsk, which is the main focus of the fighting at the moment.”
Severodonetsk, a Ukrainian controlled region of the Donbas, has come under violent attack from Russian forces as they pressure the area to fall to Putin’s control.
Mr Bell added: “What Russia will be seeking to do is to seal off the city, stop the lines of communication and all of the supplies for the Ukrainian forces.”
The military analyst suggested Russian troops would then enact distressing tactics as Putin’s soldiers come under increasing pressure from the Kremlin to advance in Ukraine.
Mr Bell said: “Then, resort to the kind of mediaeval, bloodthirsty, devastating war of attrition, which they’ve done before.
“It is incredibly costly, but it seems to be the only way that they can secure Putin’s desire to see some form of progress.”
The “bloodthirsty” approach of Russian forces was presented as a desperate manoeuvre to satisfy Putin’s desire to conquer Ukraine.
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Despite the clear aggression of Russian strategy, the military expert suggested Putin’s military may already be significantly weakened.
“We don’t know what Russian morale is like at the moment from the troops but they are certainly getting through people and equipment at a tremendous rate.”
Mr Bell suggested the “bloodthirsty” tactics of Russian invasion would not be sustainable as the military will struggle for sufficient artillery and troops to continue their attack.
He said: “Most Western analysts believe that the attrition of the Russian forces is just not sustainable – they will have to have some form of operational pause at some stage.”