Russia's primary objective to replace Ukrainian government, expert says

An expert told Forces News installing a "puppet government" in Ukraine is Russia's "primary objective".

Hopes for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine are fading after world leaders condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for sending troops into Ukraine.

The West is responding with sanctions, but according to experts, these are unlikely to halt the progress of Russian tanks towards the capital Kyiv.

Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director General at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), told Forces News Kyiv is "absolutely central" to the next stage of Russia's plan.

"All the indications are that the primary objective, of a further Russian military advance, will be to replace the government of Ukraine with a much more pliant government – a puppet government effectively," he said.