The Russians have been leaning on their superiority in troops and artillery in a determined effort to capture the industrial Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, making considerable headway, but will probably need to replenish their forces, according to a British intelligence assessment.
“Russia will likely have to rely on new recruits or mobilized reservists to deploy these units to Ukraine,” said Sunday’s assessment, tweeted out before the ministry posted a map of Ukraine highlighting the territory controlled by Russia in the east and south.
It’s a large chunk, including most of the Donbas, where the sides continue to wage a ferocious battle for the crucial city of Sievierodonetsk in the Luhansk province.
Regional governor Serhiy Haidai said Sunday the Russians aim to encircle Sievierodonetsk, destroying bridges that connect to the city center. “The Russians are making every effort to cut off Sievierodonetsk,” he said. “The next two or three days will be significant.”
British and Ukrainian officials have warned the Russians are using imprecise weapons that can cause mass casualties as they try to gain terrain in a region that could provide them a land corridor to the Crimean Peninsula, which they illegally annexed in 2014.
USA TODAY ON TELEGRAM:Join our Russia-Ukraine war channel to receive updates straight to your phone
► Ukrainian and British officials warned Saturday that Russian forces are relying on weapons able to cause mass casualties as they try to make headway in capturing eastern Ukraine
►Andriy Pokrasa, 15, and his dad, Stanislav, are being hailed in Ukraine for their volunteer aerial reconnaissance work after using their small drone in the early days of the Russian invasion, pinpointing coordinates and swiftly messaging the precious information to the Ukrainian military.
McDonald’s successor – ‘Tasty and That’s It’ – opens in Moscow
McDonald’s restaurants reopened across Moscow on Sunday, minus the name and American ownership but packing the same menu that drew big crowds to 850 outlets across Russia.
“I’m excited to introduce our new name, Vkusno & tochka,” general director of the fast food chain Oleg Paroev told reporters hours before the first store reopened in Moscow’s Puskhin Square. The name translates to “Tasty and That’s It” or “Tasty, Period.”
McDonald’s suspended operations at all 850 of its eateries in Russia on March 14, less than three weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine. Two months later McDonald’s announced it was withdrawing from Russia, 32 years after opening its first location in Pushkin Square. McDonald’s sold the business to Russian businessman Alexander Govor.
The chain kept the previous workers and menu but changed the names. Fifteen restaurants reopened in Moscow and about 200 will be open by month’s end, Govor said.
“This is a historic place – the flagship of McDonald’s,” Govor told reporters. “I’m sure it will be the flagship for us.”