Russia’s armed forces said on Friday that the second part of its “special operation in Ukraine” was aimed at “full control” of the southern part of the country and the Donbass region, as well as access to Moldova’s Transnistrian region.
The targets were set this Friday by Commander Rustam Minnekaev of the Army Center Military District. According to Sky News, they also confirmed a set of four targets published by the Russian Ministry of Defense. The four objectives are:
- Take control of Donbass;
- Create a corridor in the Crimea;
- Blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports;
- Take control of southern Ukraine and open a sales outlet in Transnistria.
All four points are related. Rustam Minnekaev stressed that “full control” of the southern part of the country and the Donbass region “would allow the creation of a corridor in Crimea, affecting Ukraine’s economy” and stressed the strength it would bring to Russian forces – the possibility of Transnistria’s independence after the war. The region borders Ukraine and makes up about 12% of Moldova’s territory, and Russia says there are also “repressive measures against the Russian-speaking population,” as Minnekaev complained.
The success of this Russian initiative would mean hundreds of kilometers beyond the current territorial boundaries, which would mean the conquest of cities like Mikolaiv and Odessa.
“Apparently we are now at war with the whole world, like in World War II. The whole of Europe is against us. They never liked Russia,” Minnekaev said.
Moldova will submit a reply to the EU membership form
Meanwhile, on Friday, Moldova submitted responses to the first form of the country’s possible accession to the European Union (EU). The country’s president, Maia Sandu, spoke on Twitter.
“Moldova today sent its first EU membership inquiry to Ambassador Janis Mazeiks to get closer to our EU membership proposal. We are ready to do our part quickly and diligently to enable Moldova to have a better, more secure and prosperous future.”
News updated at 16:41 with four Russian destinations.