Russia's war on Ukraine is starting its "third phase," which will be one of protracted fighting, leaders in Kyiv say.
Phase one was the attempt to take Ukraine "in a few days," Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor Viktor Andrusiv said in televised comments Friday night.
Phase two was defined by attempts to encircle Ukrainian forces and defeat them in several besieged areas, he said.
The new third phase will see Russian military forces defend the territorial gains they have made so far, he said.
"This shows that they plan to make it a long war," he said. Moscow appears to think that by dragging out the war in this way they can force the West to the negotiating table and get Ukraine to give in, he said.
Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Oleksiy Arestovych meanwhile said fighting so far has proven Russia's image of its "invincible second-largest army in the world" to be a "fake," UNIAN agency reported.
Arestovych also said he expected an imminent collapse of Russia's economy over the summer.