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Russia Eyes Conquest of Southern Ukraine; Leak Suggests Over 20k Casualties So Far

World Apr 22, 2022 04:56AM ET
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© Reuters

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com -- Russia added the conquest of southern Ukraine to the core objectives of its campaign, signaling a more ambitious military campaign in the coming weeks.

The news agency Interfax reported the Defense Ministry in Moscow as saying that the 'second stage' of its 'special military operation' now includes 'full control' of the south of the country. Only a week ago, President Vladimir Putin had said that his forces' primary aim was to secure control of the Donbas region, expanding the breakaway statelets which Russia's proxies have run since 2014. At the time of his invasion in February, Putin had said he had no plans to occupy further regions of Ukraine. 

The news agency Tass, meanwhile, reported that the high command intends to secure a corridor running across the whole of southern Ukraine to Transnistria - another Russian-sponsored breakaway region in eastern Moldova. That would imply the loss of Ukraine's entire coastline and consequently its access to world markets for its key agricultural exports. The report appears to confirm Russian plans to dismember its neighbor, which has been an independent country and a UN member since 1991.

Under the so-called second phase of the operation, Russian forces have launched a major offensive in the east of Ukraine, having failed to capture the capital Kyiv in the first phase. 

Interfax also reported Major-General Rustam Minnekayev as saying that the army will seek to establish a land corridor to Crimea, the Ukrainian region that it annexed at the same time as the Donbas regions seceded. The importance of a land corridor has risen, given Moscow's inability to secure control of the Black Sea coastline. It has lost both its flagship, the cruiser Moskva, and the Saratov, a large supply ship, to Ukrainian missiles in the last month.

The announcement comes a day after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin that his forces had complete control of the city of Mariupol, despite ongoing resistance from Ukrainian soldiers in the Azovstal iron and steel works, a vast industrial complex some 3 miles long. 

Separately, a report overnight by the typically pro-Kremlin Russian news outlet Readovka cited a closed Defense Ministry briefing as saying that Russia's military losses had been far higher than previously admitted. It estimated over 13,400 soldiers were killed and another 7,000 missing. If the usual ratio of killed-to-wounded applies to the current campaign, that would suggest Russia has suffered over 50,000 casualties in eight weeks of fighting, over a quarter of all the forces it assembled for the attack.

Readovka's post was quickly taken down again.

 

 

Russia Eyes Conquest of Southern Ukraine; Leak Suggests Over 20k Casualties So Far
 

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Comments (15)
The King
The King Apr 22, 2022 1:35PM ET
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funny actor has done nothing but talking
First Last
First Last Apr 22, 2022 11:33AM ET
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Not a lie.  That deplorable Russian couple was doxxed: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10722417/Pictured-Wife-recorded-ordering-Russian-soldier-husband *******Ukrainian-women.html
First Last
First Last Apr 22, 2022 11:32AM ET
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The anti-vaxx folks are supposed to be pro-freedom & anti-fascism.  The Putin trolls are trying to propagandize you folks into being pro-Putin, pro-fascism & pro-war crimes.
JTruck Kess
Turdo Apr 22, 2022 10:45AM ET
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There is a good mix of foreigner fighters trapped in Azovstal along with ukranian citizens taken as a human shield by Azov battalion. Don't fall for the same "news"  our media was feeding us with covid lies
First Last
First Last Apr 22, 2022 10:45AM ET
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That deplorable Russian deplorable pervert couple was doxxed.
JTruck Kess
Turdo Apr 22, 2022 10:45AM ET
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First Last  Hillary? lmao
First Last
First Last Apr 22, 2022 10:45AM ET
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JTruck Kess  Obsessed w/ Hillary?  But no, while Hillary got mad at Bill, the Russian wife encouraged her soldier to r8pe.  Their names are Roman Bykovsky and Olga Bykovskaya
ZS Beck
ZS Beck Apr 22, 2022 10:05AM ET
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The end turns out its was always to take part of Ukraine. They want the whole black sea area all the way down to Odessa.Straight out liars …
Invest Right
Invest Right Apr 22, 2022 10:03AM ET
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20k casualties? Give me a break. We're supposed to believe that from people who say the virus came from nature, that masks work, that vaccines stop transmission, that hydroxy doesn't work, that Hunter Biden laptop wasn't real, that inflation was transitory?
First Last
First Last Apr 22, 2022 10:03AM ET
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That's ignorant.  The 20k # came from "a pro-Kremlin news site posted, then withdrew, a report citing a closed Defense Ministry briefing that Russia had lost over 20,000 soldiers killed and missing in action since its invasion in February."  Otoh, usually not a good idea to believe the Kremlin.
First Last
First Last Apr 22, 2022 10:00AM ET
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"Defense Ministry in Moscow as saying that the 'second stage' of its 'special military operation' now includes 'full control' of the south of the country."  --  Russian trolls have been lying here, as usual, saying the Russians only wanted to protect Russians in Ukraine.
John Laurens
John Laurens Apr 22, 2022 8:22AM ET
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I wish 100 years of misery on Russia..
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First Last
First Last Apr 22, 2022 8:22AM ET
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Oleksii Trugov   And CCP members have been talking about importing underaged Ukrainian girl refugees
First Last
First Last Apr 22, 2022 8:22AM ET
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la popeye   "and his gang" includes all the deplorables who are pro-Putin, and that includes a significant chunk of Russia.
JTruck Kess
Turdo Apr 22, 2022 8:22AM ET
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Oleksii Trugov  Lie. It was proven that this call was staged by ukranians. Come up with better next time.
John Laurens
John Laurens Apr 22, 2022 8:22AM ET
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la popeye  Russian people threw away democracy out of laziness. Now thousands die. To ********with them all.
Oleksii Trugov
Oleksii Trugov Apr 22, 2022 8:22AM ET
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JTruck Kess  Nope, it was not proven to be a lie. In fact, journalists have already called to that woman and her husband, voices and everything has been confirmed. Not a lie.
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Apr 22, 2022 6:50AM ET
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no winners here, only losers, and all because of one evil pranoid mans delusions of grandeur. the day of reckoning will come for putler and his cronies
Gregory Paulson
Gregory Paulson Apr 22, 2022 6:17AM ET
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Glad to hear Russia is taking on so jany casualties. They have been the true axis of evil in this aggression.
 
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