The official told reporters in Washington, anonymously, that the men “had no vehicles or heavy weapons” and had been brought in by Russia in support of his forces. War in Ukraine.
He further added that “transfers from areas such as Syria and Libya to one region are being monitored.” Donbass In eastern Ukraine, ”Russia began a new phase of its offensive on February 24.
The European official pointed out that it was difficult to determine how many of these “10 to 20 thousand people” were mercenaries from one group. Wagner Individuals, how many of them are Libyan or Syrian fighters.
The British Ministry of Defense sent “more than a thousand mercenaries” from Wagner at the end of March to carry out “combat operations” in eastern Ukraine, including company officials.
The European official’s statement came the day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr’s announcement Zhelensky On Monday night, Russian forces withdrew their forces from the Kyiv area, launching a large-scale offensive in the Donbass area, Moscow’s new strategic target.
Part of the Donbass region has been controlled since 2014. Russian-backed separatist forces.
According to a European official in Washington, the new Russian offensive will allow Moscow to control Moscow “within four to six months”, including the Lukansk region of the Donbass and a small causeway in the region. Zaporizhia.
He said he expected a “complete destruction” of the city Like MariupolThe strategic city on the Sea of Azov, which has been besieged by Russian forces since early March.
“I am afraid it will be worse than Pucha,” he said, adding that Ukrainian authorities had accused the Russian military of committing atrocities against civilians in the Ukrainian city of Kiev.
But the European official expected it to end Ukrainian-Russian peace talks In “Autumn 2022”, it will end the war before winter comes.
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