During Phase II, the Russians sent their troops back to eastern Ukraine, where they now cross the line between the divided areas and the Luhansk and Donetsk regions and are still in Ukrainian hands. Experts say the fighting is expected to intensify in the near future, and the Russians could soon occupy a third of Ukraine.
Based on the movements of the Russian troops, they may conclude that they want to completely isolate Ukraine from the sea and want to devour the entire eastern part of the country, encircling the Ukrainian troops stationed there and cutting off the supply lines. According to intelligence reports, there have been a number of targeted missile strikes against railroads and major train junctions in recent years.
In southern Ukraine, the Russians practically occupied the city of Mariupol. However, there are still Ukrainian soldiers and civilians in the Azovstal industrial area. Putin had previously called on the Russian defense minister not to attack Azovstall, as revenue from a network of underground mines and bunkers would be high.