The centre of gravity of the war in Ukraine has shifted to the eastern part of the country. This development is a result of Russia's failure to take control of Kyiv. In the initial stage of invasion, Russia had launched an attack on Ukraine from north, east and south. After the operation stalled in some areas, and Russia suffered higher casualties than expected, Moscow reassessed its strategy.
The goal is now to focus on the Donbas region and the rest of eastern Ukraine. This is a silent confession that the operation wasn't going as planned. There have been reports that Moscow didn't have accurate intelligence when it launched the invasion and underestimated the resistance its troop will face.
However, now after learning from its mistakes and recalibration, Moscow has assigned General Alexander Dvornikov the task of winning the war in Ukraine.
He is one of Russia's most experienced military officers. He gained prominence while leading the Russian forces in Syria, where Moscow has been waging a military campaign since 2015 to shore up President Bashar Al Assad’s regime during the devastating Syrian civil war.
He is a career military officer and started as a platoon commander in 1982. Since then, he has steadily risen through the ranks. He fought during the second war in Chechnya and took several top positions before being placed in charge of the Russian troops in Syria in 2015.
He was awarded the Hero of Russia medal by Vladimir Putin in 2016. Since 2016, he has served as the commander of Russia's southern military district.
This decision to establish new battlefield leadership comes as Moscow gears up for what is expected to be a large and more focused push to expand Russian control in the Donbas region and follows a failed opening bid to conquer Kyiv, the capital.
It is unclear if it will matter. Russia is soon going to celebrate its Victory Day, which falls on 9 May. This is the day when Soviet Union attained victory in the Second World War, which is commonly known as the 'Great Patriotic War' in Russia.
Kremlin intends to have some kind of success before 9 May. There are reports that the Russian military is on the verge of taking the port city of Mariupol. Local forces there are running low on ammunition.
It is likely that Russia intends to create a land corridor between Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
President Putin maintains that he remains confident that the goals of what he called Russia’s "special military operation" will be met. He stated that the peace talks hit a "dead end" and added that the war will go on.
It seems that we are entering a more protracted and bloody phase of the invasion.
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