| 11 December 2023, Monday |

Russia will take more aggressive stance against Ukraine, says defence minister Sergei Shoigu

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered his forces to intensify attacks “in all operational sectors” of the war, in a more aggressive stance in the ongoing Ukraine invasion.

On Saturday, Shoigu ordered the military units to intensify their operations to thwart Ukrainian shillings in civilian areas of eastern Ukraine and in Russian-occupied territories.

The statement came days after the Russian missile stuck across Ukraine in recent days, killing scores of civilians. The remarks also highlight that Kremlin may be entering a more aggressive phase in the ongoing war, reports The New York Times.

The remarks of Shoigu, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, appeared to be a direct response to Ukraine’s string of successful strikes carried out on 30 Russian logistics and ammunition hubs using several multiple launch rocket systems recently supplied by the West.

On Friday, Ukraine’s defence ministry spokesperson said that the assaults of the Ukrainian forces were choking Russian supply lines and had significantly reduced Russia’s offensive capability.

This latest development comes as the Russian forces shift their offensive to Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, with their missiles and rockets striking cities elsewhere in the country.
Putin earlier this month indicated that Russia might escalate the war, saying, “Everyone should know that, by and large, we have not started anything seriously yet.”

The experts at the Institute for the Study of War claim that this new offensive posturing stems from the fact that Russian troops were “likely emerging from their operational pause,” reports The New York Times.
Citing a series of limited ground assaults northwest of Sloviansk, southeast of Siversk, along the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway and southwest of the city of Donetsk, their analysis said, “These assaults may indicate that Russian forces are attempting to resume their offensive operations in Donbas,” while noting that “the assaults are still small-scale and were largely unsuccessful.”

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