Russian military commander says Moscow seeks ‘control’ of southern Ukraine to make path to Moldova

On Friday, Russian Major Gen Rustam Minnekayev said Moscow seeks to establish “complete control” over eastern and southern Ukraine, which would provide a land bridge from Russia to the annexed Crimea as well as the Moldovan breakaway region of Transnistria, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

According to Minnekayev, Russia’s second stage of the “special military operation”, the Kremlin’s euphemism for the invasion of Ukraine, seeks to establish control of Ukraine’s Donbas region.

Such a move, “will create a land corridor to the Crimea and affect the vital facilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," the official stated.

Russian then reportedly plans to establish control over southern Ukraine, including the urban areas of Mykolaiv and Odesa.

“Control over the south of Ukraine will give the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation another exit to Transnistria, where the Russian-speaking population faces oppression," the commander added.

  Russia, Ukraine, Donbas, Odesa