Mariupol

Russia is on the brink of capturing Mariupol and that will raise questions about what is coming next, especially with forces digging in around Ukraine.

I wrote yesterday that after the fall of Mariupol we might get hints on Russia's broader strategy. This could be what we're getting now, with Russia pivoting to capturing and securing Donbas.

The report says there were two  options  for its 'special operation'. One within the Donbas region and the other for the whole of Ukraine. Given how it's gone, I suspect that it will be all about Donbas now, with the troops digging in around Kiev in order to tie up Ukrainian defense forces.

The report also said the army does not rule out storming blockaded Ukrainian cities.

Ukrain war map

Russia also said that the main targets of the first phase of Russia's operation with Ukraine are complete, according to a Tass report.

These reports suggest Russia could take Donbas and call it a day. From there, they could dig into their positions, broker a ceasefire and then start trading territory. Or Ukraine could try to mount an offensive to try and retake areas.