Avdiivka is not the main target: military expert names unobvious target of Putin's army

Avdiivka is not Putin's main target: expert

The intensification of the Russian occupation army's offensive in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks may have several political and military goals. At the same time, the capture of Avdiivka in Donetsk region is not the Kremlin's primary goal.

This opinion was expressed in an exclusive interview with OBOZ.UA by Oleksii Melnyk, co-director of foreign policy programs, coordinator of international projects at the Razumkov Center, military expert. The intensification of the occupation army is also due to the desire of Russian generals to "report good news," he added.

According to the expert, the Kremlin is trying by all means to convince Ukraine's Western partners that the war has allegedly reached a deadlock. To this end, the Kremlin attempts to influence public opinion in Western countries. "If you listen to the latest statements by Orban or the new Prime Minister of Slovakia, they repeat Putin's narratives about the failure of the Ukrainian offensive, the futility of supporting Ukraine, and so on. That is, we see that this Russian tactic is working to some extent," Melnyk said.

At the same time, these actions are also aimed at the domestic Russian audience, as Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin, who is going to the next elections, needs some legitimization.

However, according to the expert, due to the lack of major victories of the occupation army on the Ukrainian front, Russian society is increasingly asking about the ultimate goal of these actions and how long this war will last.

The expert also warned of the danger of a critical reduction in Western military support for Ukraine. "But since there is uncertainty about how long this war will last, we need to keep in mind that in the medium term the situation may change not in our favor," he said.

As OBOZ.UA wrote, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), citing published US intelligence information, suggested that the Russian occupation army is conducting an offensive in the east of our country in difficult weather conditions because the Kremlin aims not so much to capture new settlements, in particular, Avdiivka, as to weaken the West's support for Ukraine.

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