KIEV: Following his failure to take Kiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been forced to change his military strategy in Ukraine and is now focusing on "preserving key territorial targets."
The Wall Street Journal reported this, citing unnamed high-ranking US sources, according to UNIAN. According to one of the interlocutors, the effective defence of the Ukrainian Armed Forces forced Putin to change his tactics based on the information he got.
Now, Russian President Vladimir Putin wants Kiev to recognise Moscow's claims to Ukraine's southern and eastern regions. As a result, in 2014, Russia plans to establish a "land corridor" connecting the west of the country and the annexed Crimea, as well as expand control over Donbas.
At the same time, Putin would maintain military pressure, including city bombardment, in the hopes of forcing Zelensky to abandon his dreams of joining the Western alliance and accept neutral status and other Kremlin demands, according to reports.
If Putin's demands are not met, US officials predict that Russia would attempt to maintain all of the territory captured by its regular soldiers and intensify the conflict. "Based on our military evaluations," one of the officials added, "it appears like Putin is reverting to blockade tactics." According to him, the Russian army will launch weeks, if not months, of missile and artillery attacks on civilians in the neighbouring cities. Putin's goal of capturing Ukraine has not changed, according to former senior State Department official Daniel Fried, "just his tactics have changed."