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Challenged abilities

On the fifth day of the Russian offensive in the Donbas and surrounding regions, serious doubts arise about the real ability of the Russian army to quickly conquer the coveted territories.

Photo courtesy of Pascal Dumont

Time is against Russia. Its reserves to finance the war are almost depleted, while Ukraine receives increasingly sophisticated weapons. The US Secretary of Defense and Foreign Affairs, who are visiting Kiev today, will certainly discuss the issue.

Photo of archives, AFP

UN Secretary-General António Guterres will meet with Putin on Tuesday.

In addition, the Russian General Staff would weaken the purges aimed at the generals responsible for defeating the Russian army.

South

British intelligence even doubts that the Russian army controls the entire city of Mariupol, according to the Russian government. Heavy fighting would still be going on in the city.

Photo AFP

Residential building destroyed by Russian strikes yesterday in Odessa, Ukraine.

Russia’s deputy commander Rustam Minnekaev said one of the army’s goals was to conquer the entire south of the country. If necessary, the Russians could take the opportunity to integrate the neighboring territory, the self-proclaimed state of Transnistria.

Photo REUTERS

The man walked past a grounded rocket in Rubizna in the Luhansk region on Thursday.

Referendum

The Russian government intends to hold a series of referendums in several conquered areas of southern Ukraine in the coming days to justify its allegiance to Russia.

These referendums have no legal value. They are used only for propaganda purposes.

In the event of accession to Russia, they could abusively subordinate the territories annexed to Article 4 of the new Russian Constitution. This article forbids Russian leaders from ceding Russian territory.