A top aide of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, believes Russian troops will “panic” if his country’s troops manage to eliminate Crimea, occupied by Moscow in 2014, as a military logistics centre.
In an interview with Italian daily Corriere.it, Mr Podolyak said eliminating Russia’s ability to feed troops to the frontline from the occupied peninsula is a main strategic goal for Ukraine – and that the West can expect “an increase of our attacks” there.
Asked whether Ukraine could win the war by taking out Crimea as a logistics centre, he replied: “It will surely be a major success. Russians will become weaker, it will take only a few days for that to become apparent.
“Russian frontline troops will panic, and Moscow’s political rhetoric will change completely.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin himself, Mr Podolyak believes, will launch fresh nuclear threats and pro-Russian voices in the West will start speak about a ceasefire or even peace treaties.
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Wagner Group mercenaries have ‘returned to the front’
Some former members of Wagner Group left Belarus, where they moved following their late leader’s attempted coup in Russia, to return to the front in the Donetsk region, it has been claimed.
A Ukrainian military spokesperson told RBC-Ukraine: “We confirm that the ‘Wagners’ are present on the territory of the Eastern Group of Forces.
“These are servicemen of the ‘Wagner’ PMK who were on the territory of Belarus. Now their camps are being disbanded there.”
Russia ready to negotiate with Ukraine – with a caveat
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russians are “ready to negotiate” with Ukraine.
However, in an interview with state-owned news agency Tass, he said these talks must take into consideration the “reality on the battlefield” and the “interests of Russian security”.
He said: “Our position remains the same: We are ready to negotiate, while taking into consideration the reality that developed on the battlefield and our position, which is well known to everybody.”
He further explained the position consists of “our interests, the interests concerning our security, the interests of preventing the creation of a hostile force at our borders”.
This force, he claimed, has declared to want to “exterminate everything that is Russian on those lands, both in Crimea and Novorossiya.”
New images from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
As troops continue to fight on the frontline, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shared a few pictures of its soldiers on its Facebook page.
Ukrainian forces ‘made marginal advances’ in Bakhmut and Zaporizhia
The US think tank ISW reported Ukraine has “marginally advanced near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast” on September 27.
In its analysis, the think tank wrote: “Geolocated footage published on September 26 indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced near Orikhovo-Vasylivka (10km northwest of Bakhmut).
“Additional geolocated footage published on September 26 indicates that Russian forces likely no longer control a roughly one-kilometer-long trench line west of Verbove (16km southeast of Orikhiv).
“The absence of Russian forces in this trench line could facilitate further Ukrainian advances in this area, as this trench line is no longer a significant obstacle for Ukrainian forces.”
Ukraine under the attack of Iranian-made drone
Ukraine has claimed to have downed 34 of the 44 drones Russia launched in yet another night of attacks.
All the drones were Iranian-made Shahed, the Ukrainian military added.
The main target was the Odesa region, its governor Oleh Kiper said.
He wrote on Telegram: “Our air defence forces did an excellent job.”
No casualties have yet been reported.
Good morning from London. I’m Alice Scarsi, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.
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