UPDATED 9:18 AM PT – Tuesday, April 12, 2022
The Pentagon warned Russia is likely gearing up to strengthen its assault on the Donbas region of Ukraine. Department of Defense spokesperson John Kirby said during a press conference on Monday, U.S. Intelligence has found Russia is trying to re-supply its troops to prepare for a push in Eastern Ukraine.
This comes after Russia pulled out its troops from the northern part of the country, including the capital Kyiv to Western Belarus and Western Russia. Kirby said it now appears those battalions are moving to the East.
“It does seem to be a mix of of personnel carrying vehicles as well as armored vehicles and maybe some artillery, maybe some enabling capabilities,” he explained. “Not exactly clear, but this does seem to be an early effort by them to to reinforce their efforts in the Donbas.”
NEWS: Russians Shifting Their Fighting Focus to Eastern Ukraine, Says DoD Official. https://t.co/JB84CVl5TI
— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) April 11, 2022
Earlier in the year, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized separatist forces in Donbas as independent states. Ukraine has been at war with the Russian-backed separatists since 2014.