Retired colonel explains why Russian forces are targeting schools, hospitals and orphanages

why Russian forces are targeting schools, hospitals and orphanages:

city of Mahmoud. Let’s get anupdate from CNN seniorinternational correspondent Benwedeman. He’s joining us livefrom the war zone. So Ben, howbrutal are these latest Russianassaults in the east? Well, itdoes appear they’re picking uptheir tempo at the moment. Nowkeep in mind that, for instance,beginning last September wolfthe Russians change theirtactics and we’re reallyfocused, focusing on Ukraine’sability to generate power powerthat provides electricity andwarmth to the population duringthe harsh Ukrainian winters, butthe Ukrainians for one thing,their ability their air defensecapabilities have drasticallyimproved, and they have alsoproven very adept at sort ofsolutions to situations createdwhen that infrastructure ah washit. So now the Russians seem tobe changing their focus focusingon military targets.

But in theprocess we’re seeing civilians.More civilians are being killedyesterday in slovyansk, twocivilians were killed more than30 people injured when there wasa strike on that town. Now itjust so happens that the strikealso hit a military recruitingcenter, so they are focusingmore on supply lines, militaryinfrastructure, but in theprocess, many people are beingkilled now as far as the battlein Mahmoud, commander ofUkrainian land forces. Says thattheir focus at the moment istrying to try to in his wordsdestroy as many of the enemy aspossible and prepare for acounter or rather create theconditions for a counteroffensive. Fighting continues tobe intense. Also in the town ofavdiivka, which is south of bajamood there.

The Ukrainians saythat the Russians are trying towipe that town. Of the face ofthe Earth exactly like what?They’re doing. These images ofwhat we’re showing. Our viewersnow are horrendous. Indeed,civilian targets that theRussians have unloaded on. Asyou know. The Ukrainianpresident, Zelinsky made anotherstop in his unannounced visitsacross Ukraine. That’s beengoing on these past few days. Isthis an attempt by him to boostmorale? Well today, he was inSumi in northern Ukraine, andover the last seven days. He’salso paid visits to the regionsof her son and her kiev. Thoseare regions that until quiterecently were under a Russiancontrol.

high profile,unannounced visits:

Now, keep in mind.These visits high profile,unannounced visits come at atime when more armor is newarmored tanks and other heavyweaponry is arriving in Ukraine, and certainly anticipation ismounting about this possibleUkrainian spring counteroffensive, and I think this ishis way of showing that he hasconfidence in the future andwhat the coming weeks andperhaps months will bring wolf.Stay safe over there. Thank youvery much. Let’s discuss theselatest developments with CNNmilitary analyst retired U. S.Air force colonel CedricLeighton and CNN contributor onRussian affairs. Jill Dougherty, colonel Leighton 24 Russianattacks over the last day or so,according to a Ukrainian report. The heaviest combatconcentrated along the easternfront.

What is Russia’s strategyat this point in the fightspecifically targeting thecivilian areas? Residentialapartment complexes. Schoolskindergartens, for example, wolfso the basic idea behind theRussian strategy is to softenthings up for a continuation oftheir offensive. Now it lookslike they’re offensive hasbasically been stalled aroundbomb mood. But what the Russiansseem to be telling us is thatthey’re using towns like deepikaand volodya to actually movetheir forces forward. Nowthey’re not successful at thepresent time, but as theirsoftening things up in thecivilian sector, like with theorphanages, the hospitals,kindergartens they’re looking attrying to create thoseconditions where they canpotentially bring their forcesinto territory that’s currentlyheld by the Ukrainians. I don’tthink there’ll be successful,but that’s what they’re tryingto do. And Jill. As we noted,these latest Russian strikes hita kindergarten, a school and ahospital.

We’ve seen thisbrutality before from theRussian military. This crueltyis seems to be deliberate. Butwhat’s your analysis? Well Ithink it’s obviously some of itis deliberate. And then some ofit is simply there. Uminadequate fighting techniquesand weapons that you know, arenot precise. I think you know, Isaw this wolf in chechnya wherethey essentially flattened. Youknow the capital grozny, andthis is a technique that theyuse their using it in Syria aswell. So it’s not surprising,but I think some of theinteresting stuff is there aprojection of power in the fareast. East, which is you knowvery far from Ukraine, but Ithink very connected to thatthat fight. You’re going afterthe civilian targets in Ukraineclearly were crimes that areunder investigation right now.Colonel Leighton, Ukrainiancommander says you can’t tryingto wear down the Russian armyand Mahmoud.

That’s a key cityon the front lines. Of course,is that strategy working? Wellit seems to be at leastpartially working wolf because alot of Russians and Wagner groupmercenaries are actually fallingvictim to this they are losing.The Russians are losing quite afew men. I in this fight. Infact, there are huge cemeteriesthat are being built up in thesouth of Russia because of this,so it does seem as if this is apart of the Ukrainian strategythat is, at least potentiallyworking on. Not sure it is themost cost effective strategy.But it is certainly somethingthat they’re using right now.And I noticed Jill that just afew hours ago, a Russian fleetfired missiles at a markedtarget off the coast of Japan.So what messages Putin sending.I think there are a couplenumber one force projection.

Wecan go anywhere. That’s part ofit. But I also think, you know,look at what happened just abouta week ago, the prime ministerof Japan, Mr kishida went tokiev on a surprise visit verystrong show of support forUkraine. The Russians obviouslyare quite angry about this. Andthere you’re getting, you knowaction in the far east with lastweek there were strategic bybombers. They used the cruisemissiles coming from a submarine. And I noted that the secretaryof the Russian security council,Mr Patrick, chef said the U. Sis pushing Japan to militarizejust like World War two, he says, and turn Japanese citizensinto kamikazes. So this is youknow more of the same that it’sall the United States behindeverything. Just as they saythat the United States is, youknow, trying to militarizeUkraine and use it to attackRussia. It’s really I think

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