(FiveNation.com)- After its full-scale invasion halted in little more than a month, the White House believes Russia is relocating its soldiers in Ukraine to focus its operations on the country’s eastern regions.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan outlined Russia’s future goals, painting a picture in which Russia focuses its operations on the Donbas area to achieve military wins that can be used to build a narrative of triumph for the Kremlin.
Sullivan believes Russia is revising its war aims and repositioning its forces to a smaller area to make it appear its offensive operations are much more potent than they are.
Analysts in the Biden administration believe Russia would concentrate its efforts on defeating Ukrainian forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk districts of the Donbas, where pro-Russian rebels have operated for years.
Russia then can use any military achievements to cobble a narrative of progress and downplay its dismal failures thus far.
Meanwhile, according to Sullivan, Putin will still launch air and missile attacks over the remainder of Ukraine, including Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, and Lviv. Still, the boots on the ground will be centralized to have a more significant impact.
At the same time, Sullivan said Moscow would likely continue to launch air and missile strikes across the rest of Ukraine, including in the capital city of Kyiv and other crowded areas like Odesa, Kharkiv, and Lviv.
Russia’s intention is the same as any invasion, to try and weaken the enemy as much as possible. Given Ukraine’s tenacity, this operation could go on for months. Putin’s military forces have faced stiff opposition from Ukrainians and have failed to seize control of key cities or change government leaders.
Last Monday, observers said that Russia began to withdraw its soldiers from the Kyiv region. Still, President Biden and White House officials are skeptical and have warned against expecting Putin to withdraw troops or scale back its military action.
International condemnation of Russia’s war tactics was swift and prompt after Images from the Ukrainian city of Bucha surfaced over the weekend. The pictures showed civilians lying dead in the streets, many being pushed into mass graves.
Biden has called Putin “brutal.” He said that what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous, and he believes Putin has committed war crimes.