Russia Focused on ‘Liberation’ of Ukraine’s Donetsk: Army Chief

Russia’s army chief said Thursday his troops in Ukraine were “focused on completing the liberation” of Donetsk, an eastern Ukrainian region Moscow claims to have annexed.

“The situation on the frontline has stabilised and the main efforts of our troops are now focused on completing the liberation of the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov said in a briefing.

Gerasimov added that the line of combat stretches over 815 kilometers (506 miles).

Russian armed forces have “hit more than 1,300 critical targets… significantly reducing the combat potential of the Ukrainian armed forces,” Gerasimov said.

He noted that “hypersonic missiles were used for the first time in combat condition,” including Kinzhal missiles.

“Damage continues to be inflicted on critical transport and energy infrastructure deep inside Ukrainian territory,” Gerasimov added.

After successful Ukrainian counter-offensives pushed Russian troops back in the northern Kharkiv and the southern Kherson regions, the epicenter of the combat has moved towards the east in Bakhmut.

Faced with a series of humiliating defeats, Russia switched to pummelling Ukrainian energy infrastructure, leaving millions without heat or power as winter sets in.

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