Ukraine fears a repeat of the Mariupol horrors in Donbas

Moscow-backed separatists attacked eastern Ukraine's industrial Donbas on Friday.

Ukraine fears a repeat of the Mariupol horrors in Donbas

Moscow-backed separatists attacked eastern Ukraine's industrial Donbas on Friday. They claimed the capture of a railway station hub. This was in response to growing concerns that other cities in the region might be subject to the same horrors as Mariupol's people in the weeks preceding the port's capture.

Officials from Ukraine renewed their calls for sophisticated Western-supplied weaponry. They stated that without it, Ukrainian forces would not be able stop Russia's offensive.

Friday's fighting was focused on two cities, Sievierodonetsk (nearly Lysychansk). These are the last areas that Ukraine has taken control of in Luhansk. This is one of the two Donbas provinces where Russia-backed separatists hold some territory for the past eight years. According to authorities, 1,500 people have died in Sievierodonetsk since the war began three months ago.

According to Oleksandr Striuk, Sievierodonetsk Mayor, "Massive artillery bombardment does not stop day and night." "The city is being destroyed systematically -- 90% of its buildings are damaged."

Striuk described the conditions in Sievierodonetsk as eerily reminiscent of the Battle for Mariupol in Donetsk, another province in the Donbas. The port city is now in ruins and was under constant attack by Russian forces for nearly three months. Russia finally won its capture last week. It is believed that more than 20,000 civilians have been killed.

Around 100,000 people lived in Sievierodonetsk before the war. Striuk estimated that between 12,000 and 13,000 people remain in the city. They are huddled in shelters, cut off from the rest Ukraine. The war is now in its 93rd year and has claimed the lives of at least 1,500 people. This includes those killed in shelling, fires from Russian missile strikes, and those who died due to shrapnel wounds or untreated diseases.

Striuk stated that an assault took place in the city's northeastern district, where Russian reconnaissance and sabotage teams tried to capture Mir Hotel and the surrounding area.

Mariupol is a key location for Russia's strategy for the Donbas. Moscow is consolidating control by means of state-controlled broadcast programming, and overhauled school curricula according to an analysis of the Institute for the Study of War (a Washington think tank).

Former head of U.S. European Command, NATO, Gen. Phillip Breedlove stated Friday at a Washington-based Middle East Institute panel that Russia seems to have "once more adjusted its objectives, fearfully now it appears that they are trying consolidate and enforce their land rather than focusing on expanding it."

Russia's determination to increase its control over the Donbas was also evident by the constant assaults. According to Ukrainian analysts, Russian forces used delays in Western arms shipment to increase their offensive. Striuk estimated that between 12,000 and 13,000 people remain in the city. They are confined to shelters and are largely isolated from the rest of Ukraine. The war is now in its 93rd year and has claimed the lives of at least 1,500 people. This includes those killed in shelling, fires from Russian missile strikes, and those who died due to shrapnel wounds or untreated diseases.

Striuk stated that an assault took place in the city's northeastern district, where Russian reconnaissance and sabotage teams tried to capture Mir Hotel and the surrounding area.

Mariupol is a key location for Russia's strategy for the Donbas. Moscow is consolidating control by means of state-controlled broadcast programming, and revamped school curricula according to an analysis of the Institute for the Study of War (a Washington think tank).

Former head of U.S. European Command, NATO, Gen. Phillip Breedlove stated Friday at a Washington-based Middle East Institute panel that Russia seems to have "once more adjusted its objectives, fearfully now it appears that they are trying consolidate and enforce their land rather than focusing on expanding it."

Russia's determination to increase its influence in the Donbas was also evident by the constant assaults. According to Ukrainian analysts, Russian forces used delays in Western arms shipment to intensify their offensive.

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However, this aggressive push could backfire by severely depleting Russia’s arsenal. Oleh Zhdanov, a military analyst, said that Russia was using 50-year-old T62 tanks. This is in line with the assessment of the British Defense Ministry. "This means that the second army has run out modernized equipment."

Russian-backed rebels claimed Friday that they had seized Lyman, Donetsk’s major railway hub north of two other key cities still under Ukrainian control. Oleksiy Arestovych, the Ukrainian presidential adviser, acknowledged Thursday's loss. However, a spokesperson for Ukraine's Defense Ministry reported Friday that their soldiers had resisted Russian attempts to push them out completely.

Ukraine's hopes of stopping Russian advances faded. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuneba appealed to the West for heavy weapons. He claimed that Russia held a clear advantage in this area.

He stated, "Without artillery and without multiple launch rocket system we won't have the ability to push them back."

Volunteers attempted to evacuate 100 residents from a small town just south of Sievierodonetsk. It was difficult work: Many Bakhmut residents were infirm or elderly and had to be walked out of their apartments in wheelchairs and soft stretchers.

Date Of Update: 27 May 2022, 18:40

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