- Russia wants to split Ukraine in two, according to Ukrainian military intelligence.
- Putin wants a “North and South Korea in Ukraine,” intel chief Kyrylo Budanov said.
- The strategy involves creating a land corridor between east Ukraine and Crimea, Budanov added.
Russia is now trying to split Ukraine in two after failing to conquer the whole country during its military offensive, according to Ukrainian military intelligence, per Sky News.
Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine’s defense intelligence chief, said on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to create a situation “like North and South Korea in Ukraine” by dividing the nation and creating a Moscow-controlled state, Sky News reported.
After World War II, Korea was divided into Soviet-backed North Korea and US-backed South Korea.
Budanov said that Ukraine believes Putin is now prioritizing seizing the east and south of the country, per BBC News. The alleged strategy, Budanov added, involves building a land corridor between the east and Crimea.
Putin would then draw a demarcation line separating that area from the rest of Ukraine like there is between South Korea and North Korea, Budanov said, according to BBC News.
Budanov said the fierce resistance Russian troops face in “unbreakable” Mariupol, situated in the land corridor Putin purportedly desires, is a major obstacle to this strategy.
Budanov’s assessment follows the news of Russian officials signaling this week that the country has moved the goalposts for its invasion of Ukraine, Insider’s Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert reported.
“The main objectives of the first stage of the operation have generally been accomplished. The combat potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been considerably reduced, which, I emphasize once again, makes it possible to focus on the main efforts to achieve the main goal, liberation of Donbas,” Russian General Sergei Rudskoi said in a briefing on Friday, Interfax reported.
Russia is seemingly scaling back its invasion of Ukraine, which appears to have stalled after being met with strong resistance in Ukraine. It is focusing on the “liberation” of Donbas, it claims.
The Donbas region comprises the Luhansk region and the Donetsk region.
On Sunday, the Russia-backed separatist leader Leonid Pasechnik called for a referendum on joining Russia in the self-proclaimed breakaway state of Luhansk People’s Republic. Russia has supported separatist rebels in Luhansk, and nearby Donetsk, since 2014.
On the eve of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia drew widespread condemnation when it recognized Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states.