Ukraine: Russia to 'double down' on brutal force to push troops
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Russia has been trying to break through Ukrainian defence forces for weeks but has so far failed to make substantial advances in Ukraine despite persistent attacks on both military and civilian infrastructures. The former head of Defence Intelligence, Air Marshall Philip Osborn, warned Moscow may now seek to “double down” on Kyiv with even more brutal force in a bid to force the Ukrainian Government into capitulating. President Vladimir Putin was reported to be considering meeting in person with Volodymyr Zelensky to secure a beneficial peace deal for Russia.
Asked about the state of Russian troops, Air Marshall Osborn told Sky News: “I think it’s fair to say they’re pretty demoralised, pretty stuck, and pretty stalled.
“They’re demoralised because they were poorly prepared and they’ve proved to be inadequate, that’s putting it mildly.
“They’re stalled because they’ve lost momentum and we’ve seen them pull resources, manpower from across Russia, even from Syria.
“That’s not a good indication for a supposed super power.”
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He continued: “And they’re stalled because they’re running out of options.
“Really, what’s left of them now is to double down on brute force to put pressure on the Ukrainian Government.
“Russia has tried to be agile and it failed, it wasn’t up to it so now it’s faced with how does it get the Ukrainian Government to settle on terms which are far more favourable to Russia, to Putin.
“And therefore the way they apply pressure on the Ukrainian Government is to level cities, bring in huge artillery, to try and generate that humanitarian pressure not just on the Government but also on the West.”
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Ukraine’s negotiating team has been conducting unsuccessful negotiations for over two weeks in a bid to end the slaughter of civilians.
Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba insisted Kyiv is ready to reach an agreement but will not surrender to Russia, which has attracted the condemnation of the entire Western world because of its unjustified invasion.
Major cities in Ukraine have been coping with persistent bombing, with the port city of Mariupol under siege and running out of all necessary goods.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said the siege of the southern city is “a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come”.
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Mariupol leaders claimed thousands of residents had been forced to cross into Russia.
In a statement shared on Telegram, the city council said: “Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents were deported onto the Russian territory.”
News agencies in Russia have been reporting buses have carried several hundred people from Mariupol to Russia in recent days.
The council also said Russian forces bombed a Mariupol art school on Saturday in which 400 residents had taken shelter, but the number of casualties was not yet known.
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