Russia says Ukraine ‘first phase’ almost over, signals scaling down of goals

In a scaled-back formulation of its war goals, Russia said on Friday that the first phase of its military operation was mostly complete and it would focus on completely “liberating” Ukraine’s breakaway eastern Donbas region.The announcement appeared to indicate that Moscow may be switching to more limited objectives after running into fierce Ukrainian resistance in a month of war.The defence ministry said Russian-backed separatists now controlled 93 per cent of Ukraine’s Luhansk region and 54…

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