Military expert Alexei Leonkov believes that Russia will not stop in Donbas
Combat operations have intensified in the special operation zone in Ukraine. Defense Minister Shoigu ordered to intensify efforts in all sectors of the front. Aleksey Leonkov, a military analyst and editor of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, explained to MK how the latest events can be interpreted.
Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
– The second phase of the special operation is coming to an end, – says Alexei Leonkov. – The defeat of the group near the Donbass is inevitable. And when Slavyansk and Kramatorsk are called, then we are talking about the most important large settlements, where there is still a significant part of those who are trying to oppose us from the Ukrainian side.
It is clear that Slavyansk is of great importance for us also because it is the city from which it all began. Slavyansk now increasingly begins to flicker on news feeds. Ukrainian propaganda will say how they “heroically defend themselves”, “heroically” lure us, “heroically retreat”, while we “suffer losses”. They serve everything with the same kind of sauce. It will be the same here.
At the same time, there needs to be some changes. The fire support of our troops along the line of contact is now increasing. And this is noted by our military correspondents, who say: finally, everything has begun! It is clear that fire support is increasing in order to finish this second phase as quickly as possible.
– We will not finish. And about the third phase, you need to understand the following: we will not stop at the Donbass, as many people think. We'll move on.
– Yes, they also understand that the only group that fetters us now is located just under the Donbass. And if it is crushed now, then we will enter the operational space. Further in cities and towns, we will already meet not so much units of regular troops as units of territorial defense.
And Kyiv predicts: the situation may change dramatically very soon. Therefore, their main task now – which they are constantly doing now – is shelling the liberated cities of Ukraine, our cities and towns. They need this in order, according to their idea, to arouse a sharp negative attitude towards the special operation, first of all, the Russian population.
It is clear that Kyiv and the West are doing everything to stop the conflict at this stage – the end of the second stage of the special operation.
– Yes, our president indicated that we are ready to negotiate, but this does not mean that we will make some concessions. Agreements can only be on Russia's terms.
– Yes, including because now, in fact, there is a change of a number of leaders of foreign states. They completely compromised themselves, this also applies to the negotiation process. It is very likely that now the West is looking for a replacement for them, taking into account the fact that they will be people who are able and will try to establish a dialogue with us.
Although at the same time, information that there are no sanctions , even if we stop in the Donbass, no one is going to shoot us. We are talking about the next sanctions package – by and large, nothing changes. So Russia has every reason to fulfill the task that has been set for Ukraine.
– This forecast is not true. As far as I know the information – and our president recently said the same – we really haven't started anything in a serious way yet. I think the Supreme Commander thus hinted at two circumstances at once.
The first is due to the fact that the operation will continue, but more intensively. And secondly, if suddenly NATO intervenes, the scale of hostilities may expand.