A pro-Russian official in the Zaporizhia region in southern Ukraine said Ukrainian forces in the area were facing the risk of encirclement.
In an interview with Tass news agency on January 20, Boris Rogov, a pro-Russian official in the Zaporizhia region in southern Ukraine, confirmed that the Russian army was gradually closing the siege on the city of Orekhov in this region.
“If everything goes according to plan, Orekhov will be under siege in the near future,” Rogov said, stressing the importance of Orekhov being only about 60km from the provincial capital of Zaporizhia. According to him, once the Russian army closes the siege at Orekhov, the siege of the capital Zaporizhia will only be a matter of time.
The official also revealed that in the past week, the Russian army has controlled four more settlements near the city of Orekhov. Based on the intelligence obtained, the Ukrainian defense forces in this area are facing a lack of weapons, thereby being forced to withdraw to preserve their forces. Mr. Rogov claimed that pro-Russian forces in Zaporizhia controlled 70% of the territory of the breakaway southern Ukraine province.
According to Rogov, the area of territory controlled by Russia in this area will increase in the near future, especially after many Ukrainian soldiers have laid down their weapons and surrendered.
“The number of Ukrainian soldiers surrendering has increased dramatically since mid-December. Most of them are members of local self-defense units,” Rogov said.
The pro-Russian official in Zaporizhia confirmed that the soldiers also expressed their desire to join the pro-Russian forces there. However, they will have to go through a rigorous background check before being selected.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has not yet commented on the above information.