Moscow Signals a Shift to a More Aggressive Phase of Ukraine War  

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 In an indication that Russian forces were ending what they called an operational pause in their invasion of Ukraine, the defense minister of Russia, Sergei K. Shoigu, on Saturday ordered his forces to intensify attacks “in all operational sectors” of the war. As the Ukrainian government disclosed modest new ground attacks by Russian forces, the Russian defense ministry said in a statement that Mr. Shoigu had instructed that combat be intensified to stop Ukraine from shelling civilian areas in Russian-occupied territory. After deadly Russian missile strikes across Ukraine in recent days that killed civilians, the statement was a new signal from Moscow that its invasion may be entering a more aggressive phase. Mr. Shoigu’s statement appeared to be a response to Ukraine’s new ability to hit Russian targets in occupied areas due to more advanced, longer-range Western weapons, like the American HIMARS precision-guided rocket systems and the French Caesar artillery pieces. Ukraine claims to have hit at least 30 Russian ammunition and logistics sites with the new longer-range weapons in the last two weeks.

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