NATO: Russian Forces Not Retreat, But Rally Back in Ukraine. PHOTO/Reuters
Stoltenberg also said NATO was not yet convinced that Russia was negotiating in good faith the peace talks in Istanbul. This is because Moscow’s military objectives have not changed since launching the invasion of Ukraine.
“According to our intelligence, the Russian units are not retreating but repositioning. Russia is trying to regroup, resupply and strengthen its offensive in the Donbas region,” Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels.
Meanwhile, Moscow said Russian forces were currently focused on the “liberation” of the Donbas region – two southeastern provinces that have been partly controlled by Russian-backed separatists since 2014.
“At the same time, Russia is maintaining pressure on Kiev and other cities. So, we can expect additional offensive actions, bringing more suffering,” he added.
“We don’t have a real change in Russia’s true goals, they continue to pursue military outcomes,” Stoltenberg said. He also said NATO allies would continue to provide weapons to Ukraine for as long as necessary.
Russia said it was launching a “special military operation” to disarm and “denazify” its neighbor, and that the mission would be planned.