Russia wants to split Ukraine into two, military intel chief says

Cars drive past a destroyed Russian tank as a convoy of vehicles evacuating civilians leaves Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv
Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press

The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence unit said on Sunday that Russia wishes to split the country into two, similar to how North and South Korea were created.

Kyrylo Budanov said in a statement that Russia’s invasion was “an attempt to create North and South Korea in Ukraine,” Reuters reported.

However, Budanov predicted that Ukraine would succeed in fending off the Russian forces.

“In addition, the season of a total Ukrainian guerrilla safari will soon begin. Then there will be one relevant scenario left for the Russians, how to survive,” he said.

Shortly before Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he would be recognizing the eastern Ukrainian Donbass region as an independent state. The region is controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

Last week, the Russian Defense Ministry announced it was shifting its military strategy, claiming to have accomplished the goals of the first phase of its invasion of Ukraine. The ministry said it would now be focusing on the “liberation” of Donetsk and Luhansk, two provinces in Donbass.

This shift in military strategy comes amid reports of heavy losses for the Russian military. Moscow reportedly did not foresee Ukraine lasting as long as it has, now having been able to fend off a complete Russian takeover for about a month. NATO estimated earlier this month that between 7,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers had been killed so far.

On Sunday, Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova affirmed that Ukraine would not be recognizing the Donbass region as an independent state, saying it was not on the table for negotiations with Russia.

“There is no independent republics on the territory of Ukraine,” she said while appearing NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think we shouldn’t ask Ukraine what we are ready to give up in order for Russia to stop this aggression. All of us should be asking each what are we prepared to do to stop it.”

Tags Donbas Korean Peninsula Oksana Markarova Russian irredentism Ukraine Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin
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