“It will be an attempt to set up South and North Koreas in Ukraine.”
According to Kyiv’s top military intelligence officer, Russia is attempting to split Ukraine in two, mirroring the division of the Korean peninsula into North and South Korea.
President Putin may try to cut his losses if he fails to conquer the capital and destroy the Zelensky government, according to Brigadier General Kyrylo Budanov.
“There are reasons to believe he may try to impose a separation line between the occupied and unoccupied regions of our country,” Budanov highlighted. “It will be an attempt to set up South and North Koreas in Ukraine.”
The announcement came as peace talks in Turkey were expected to restart this week after Russia announced a shift in policy, claiming to have shifted its attention to “liberating” Ukraine’s south and east. The Ukrainian military has begun driving Russian forces back from the capital, where their offensive has stopped.
Following the Korean War, the partition of the Korean peninsula into US and Soviet occupation zones was supposed to be temporary, but it became permanent after the Korean War between Chinese-backed communists in North and America and Britain-backed communists in the South.
Budanov cautioned that Putin would try to do the same by forming a statelet out of sections of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region currently controlled by Russian proxies, as well as early battlefield gains.
“The invaders will try to set up some quasi-state as an alternative to independent Ukraine,” Budanov added. “We can see attempts to set up ‘parallel’ local governments in occupied areas and to force people to give up the Ukrainian currency.”
Putin defended his invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” to protect Donbas residents from “genocide.” He announced the invasion by recognizing the independence of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic in the Donbas, both of which have been ruled by Russian proxies since 2014.
Pro-Russian authorities in Luhansk announced yesterday that a referendum on joining the Russian state would be held, going far beyond Putin’s acknowledgement of independence.
President Zelensky criticized the West of cowardice for failing to respond to his calls for fighter jets and tanks, contrasting it with the heroism of people defending Mariupol from Russian invasion. Hundreds of thousands of citizens are still stranded in the southern port city, with no access to water, food, or electricity.
As Mariupol’s defenders battled Moscow’s assault with “shotguns and machine guns,” Zelensky blamed Nato of “playing ping-pong about who and how should hand over jets.” In a video speech, he stated, “If only those who have been thinking for 31 days on how to hand over dozens of jets and tanks had 1 per cent of their courage.”
“It is impossible to unblock Mariupol without a sufficient number of tanks, other armoured vehicles and, of course, aircraft. All defenders of Ukraine know that. All defenders of Mariupol know that. Thousands of people know that — citizens, civilians who are dying there in the blockade. This should be known as soon as possible by as many people on Earth as possible so that everyone understands who and why was simply afraid to prevent this tragedy. Afraid to simply make a decision.”
Mariupol, on the Black Sea coast, has been the subject of severe Russian bombardment and a catastrophic siege against its 450,000 population. A Ukrainian deputy prime minister, Olha Stefanishyna, claimed Monday that the city “simply does not exist anymore.”
It is located just beyond the Donetsk area, along what Russia may be attempting to build as a territorial corridor connecting Russia to the annexation of Crimea. This might also shut Ukraine off from the Black Sea, which would be disastrous for Kyiv both economically and strategically.
Moscow’s ground movements since announcing a strategic shift last Friday suggest that any assault on Kyiv may be abandoned.
Some Russian units involved in the failed attack on Kyiv have begun retiring through the Chernobyl exclusion zone to Belarus to regroup, according to the Ukrainian military. Ukrainian forces have started to push back in the suburbs of Kyiv, which have been the scene of fierce fighting for several weeks.
On Saturday, the Russian defense ministry stated that air-launched cruise missiles were used to strike a fuel store and a military base in the western city of Lviv that helped upgrade and modernize missile systems, radar stations, and electronic warfare equipment. A depot of air defense missiles outside of Kyiv was also targeted with sea-launched missiles.
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