Russia's aims remain the same, despite withdrawal of ground forces to Ukraine's east, UK intelligence says

Russia's aims of asserting its regional dominance and getting Ukraine to abandon its "Euro-Atlantic orientation" remain the same, despite its move towards concentrating its attacks on eastern Ukraine, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.

In its latest intelligence update, it said that Russian forces continued to redeploy combat and support equipment from Belarus towards eastern Ukraine - including locations close to Kharkiv and Severdonetsk.

It adds that locations throughout the east of the country continue to be struck.

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In the meantime, Nina Khrushcheva, a professor of international affairs in the US and the great-granddaughter of the former Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, told the BBC that Russia may be prepared to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

“I think this war is really the one that Putin plans to win, and plans to win at any cost. If he needs to declare victory and he may need to use tactical nuclear weapons - I’m not predicting that - that could be one of the options the Russians may be prepared to use,” she said.

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