Ukrainian commander believes Putin wants to take Kiev
Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to eventually capture Kiev, Deputy Chief of Ukraine’s General Staff Lieutenant General Sergey Nayev has claimed. He added, however, that there is no imminent danger to the capital.
“There are chances, of course, because [Putin] will never give up intentions to conquer Ukraine and our country’s capital. Indeed, it is among the priorities of his criminal plans,” Nayev, who commands the Joint Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, told the TV channel TSN on Monday.
“At present, there is no such threat because we are not seeing a concentration of the invasion forces. What will happen next? Everything depends on [Putin’s] decisions, as well as on the availability of forces and equipment.”
Russian troops withdrew from Kiev and other parts of northern Ukraine in late March, after weeks of fighting around the capital. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed at the time that the pullback was a goodwill gesture amid the peace negotiations that were underway between Moscow and Kiev.
Negotiations broke down and fighting resumed in southern Ukraine and Donbass. Last month, Putin ordered a partial mobilization with the goal of calling up 300,000 reservists in order to bolster the military operation in the neighboring country.