ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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UK intelligence says Russia shifting to ‘strategy of attrition’

A Ukrainian policeman secures the area by a five-story residential building that partially collapsed after a shelling in Kyiv on March 18, 2022, as Russian troops try to encircle the Ukrainian capital as part of their slow-moving offensive (Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP)
A Ukrainian policeman secures the area by a five-story residential building that partially collapsed after a shelling in Kyiv on March 18, 2022, as Russian troops try to encircle the Ukrainian capital as part of their slow-moving offensive (Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP)

Britain’s defense intelligence chief says Russia is shifting to a ”strategy of attrition” after failing to reach its goals in the invasion of Ukraine.

Chief of Defense Intelligence Lt. Gen. Jim Hockenhull says Russian forces have changed their approach after failing to take major Ukrainian cities during the three-week invasion.

He says that the battle of attrition “will involve the reckless and indiscriminate use of firepower. This will result in increased civilian casualties, destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure and intensify the humanitarian crisis.”

Western officials say Russian forces have enough artillery ammunition to keep up the bombardments for weeks or even longer.

Despite the fact that there have been thousands of Ukrainian civilian casualties, Russia denies targeting civilians during what it calls a special military operation in Ukraine.

The top US commander for the Middle East says there have been no indications that Russia is moving troops out of Syria to bolster its forces in Ukraine, or that any more than a few Syrian fighters have been recruited to join the war.

Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie says he has seen little change in Russian military activities in Syria.

He added that the US military still has and uses a deconfliction phone line with the Russians in Syria, in contrast to the mixed success the US has had in maintaining such contact in connection with the Ukraine war.

“We can always contact them if we have a problem. They’ll always pick up the phone, and we feel that we respond in kind to them,” said McKenzie about the Russians, whose forces in Syria support the regime of President Bashar Assad. “That relationship has been very, very professional.”

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