The Kremlin has given Russian troops a “deadline” to end the war in Ukraine to “secure the of Donetsk Oblast” region.
However the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said it is “highly unlikely” Vladimir Putin will “secure” the Donbas region by the 15 September as many Russian soldiers are “rioting” and are refusing to fight.
In an update the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote, “In the area of the settlement of Kherson, servicemen of the 127th regiment of the 1st army corps rioted and wrote a letter refusing to participate in hostilities.
“It is known that one of the reasons is unsatisfactory all-round support: in the advanced positions, the personnel of this regiment was left even without water.”
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President Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces counteroffensive is gathering pace and they are making small gains by retaking towns and cities in eastern Ukraine which are occupied by Russian forces.
Zelensky has said he has received “good reports” from intelligence officials and his commanders that Putin’s forces are being pushed back.
The MoD said in their intelligence report, “Despite its effects to contain recent Ukrainian offensive action, Russia’s main effort in Ukraine almost certainly remains its Donbas offensive operation.
“Its principal axes of advance in the Donbas remain at Avdiivka near Donetsk City and, 60km to the north, around Bakhmut.
“Although Russia has had the most success in this sector, its forces have still only been advancing around 1km per week towards Bakhmut.”
The MoD report continued, “The political goal of the Donbas operation almost certainly remains to secure the whole of Donetsk Oblast, which would enable the Kremlin to announce the ‘liberation’ of the Donbas.
“Russian forces have highly likely repeatedly missed deadlines to achieve this aim.
“The Ukrainian authorities have claimed that Russian forces are now under orders to complete this mission by 15 September 2022.
“The force is highly unlikely to achieve this, which will further complicate Russia’s plans to run referendums on the occupied areas joining the Russian Federation.”
Zelensky said, “Progress is being made to liberate all our lands and all our people.
“The Armed Forces of Ukraine, our intelligence, and special services are already taking the necessary steps for this.
“These steps can be heard.
“And everyone can see that the occupiers have already started fleeing Crimea.
“This is the right choice for all of them.”