Russia’s next move in Ukraine was “Game over if this happens!” † World | News

Military analyst Cedric Leighton has outlined the next stage in Russia’s strategy to storm Ukraine’s defenses in the eastern Donbas region. He believes the Russian military is trying to shut down Ukraine’s railway infrastructure around the city of Dnipro, a major logistics hub, in order to isolate Ukrainian forces fighting at the front.

Leighton told CNN: “What they’re trying to do is they’re trying to cut off rail supplies and we have to remember that in Ukraine the rails are critical.

“They’re more important in Ukraine than in the United States, and if you look, this is where Dnipro is, it’s actually in the middle of the eastern part of the country.

“So this is a big intersection of roads and railways and the river also runs through this area, so if you go to Dnipro, and you get these areas here, you get the railways that come from Kharkiv, the ones that come from Kiev, those going east.

“If you cut all this off, you will have a situation where the Ukrainian troops may be cut off from their supply lines and from reinforcements.

So that’s what the Russians are trying to do.

“They are trying to seal off the Ukrainians and basically surround them in this area here in the eastern part of the country.

“So if they do, then you know, I hate to say it, but it’s basically game over for the Ukrainian troops in this particular area.

“If the Russians are allowed to go that way.”

Russian forces launched an all-out attack on Tuesday to encircle Ukrainian forces in twin towns on either side of a river in eastern Ukraine, a battle that could determine the success or failure of Moscow’s main campaign in the east.

Just three months after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine, authorities reopened the underground metro in the second-largest city of Kharkiv, where thousands of civilians had cried for months under relentless bombing.

The move was testament to Ukraine’s greatest military success in recent weeks, pushing Russian forces largely out of Kharkov’s artillery range, as they did from the capital Kiev in March.

But the decisive battles of the last phase of the war still raged further south, where Moscow is trying to capture the Donbas region of two eastern provinces, Donetsk and Luhansk, and trap Ukrainian troops in a pocket on the Eastern Front.

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“Now we are observing the most active phase of the large-scale aggression that Russia launched against our country,” Ukraine’s Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told a televised briefing.

“The situation on the [eastern] front is extremely difficult because the fate of this country may be decided [there] now.”

The easternmost part of the Ukrainian-occupied Donbas Pocket, the town of Sievierodonetsk on the eastern bank of the Siverskiy Donets River and its twin brother Lysychansk on the western bank, have become the pivotal battleground there, with Russian troops advancing from three directions to surround them.

“The enemy has focused its efforts on conducting an offensive to encircle Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk,” said Serhiy Gaidai, governor of Luhansk province, where the two cities are among the last areas remaining in Ukraine’s control.

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