Russia has drawn up plans, which include public executions, to discourage Ukrainians from fighting back against President Vladimir Putin's forces, a European intelligence official said.
Bloomberg reported Thursday morning that Moscow had developed methods to break morale among Ukrainians fighting for their liberty following Russia's unprovoked attack.
The Kremlin's strategy, to be used after Russian troops take control of a city, included crackdowns on protests, detention of opponents, and potentially carrying out public executions, the official told Bloomberg.
Ukrainian citizens, arming themselves as volunteer forces, have joined the country's military in putting up a surprisingly strong resistance against Putin's troops.
Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron that he planned to fulfill the goals of his invasion of Ukraine, Russian news agency Interfax reported, citing the Kremlin's press service.
The Russian president, while denying his forces had bombed Kyiv or harmed civilians, warned Macron that everything was going according to plan in Ukraine and that things will get worse.
Thursday began the second week of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.
A senior U.S. defense official told reporters Wednesday that there were indications of low morale among Russian troops.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy touched on that when he lauded his fellow countrymen for fighting against Russia after the super power's unprovoked attack.
"We are a nation that broke the enemy's plans in a week — plans that have been built for years, treacherously, deliberately, with hatred of our country, of our people, of any people who have heart and freedom," Zelenskyy said during a video address, Axios reported. "Our military, border guards, territorial defense, even ordinary farmers capture the Russian military on a daily basis. And they all say one thing: They don't know why they're here."
Zelenskyy has sought to appeal directly to young Russian soldiers who he claims were tricked into this operation.
Russian troops were in the center of the Ukrainian port of Kherson on Thursday after a day of conflicting claims over whether Moscow had captured a major urban center for the first time in its eight-day invasion.
Russia's defense ministry said its troops controlled Kherson on Wednesday, but an adviser to Zelenskyy responded that Ukrainian forces continued to defend the Black Sea port of about 250,000 people.
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