A Ukrainian general has said Moscow is digging in for a long war and still wants to conquer the whole of Ukraine, as Russian forces pounded two strategic cities while Kyiv’s troops shelled Russian-controlled areas of Donetsk in the east.
“The Kremlin … is seeking to turn the conflict into a prolonged armed confrontation,” a senior Ukrainian officer, Brigadier General Oleksiy Gromov, told a news briefing.
“The main strategic objective of the enemy remains seizing all the territory of our country [and] not allowing Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration,” said Gromov.
Both sides have ruled out a Christmas truce and there are currently no talks aimed at ending the nearly 10-month-old conflict.
Ukraine’s military General Staff said Moscow’s main focus remained on the eastern cities of Bakhmut and Avdiivka, but that it was also shelling the southern city of Kherson daily and trying to get a stronger foothold in the southern region of Zaporizhia.