Russia said it was refocusing its month-long military offensive in Ukraine on the country’s eastern Donbas region, in comments that suggested Moscow could scale back attacks in other parts of the country.
Speaking at a defence ministry briefing in Moscow on Friday, Sergei Rudskoy, a high-ranking official in the Russian army, said what the Kremlin has labelled a “special operation” in Ukraine was entering a new phase designed to fully “liberate” Donbas.
He described the targeting of other cities, including the capital Kyiv, as part of a strategy to distract the Ukrainian army.
Ukrainian authorities and western officials reacted cautiously to the claim of a change of military strategy, which came after Russian advances on Kyiv and other towns stalled or were hindered by fiercer than expected Ukrainian defences.
A US official accompanying Joe Biden during a trip to…