Russia resumes airstrikes on major eastern cities as advances on both sides slow


DONETSK REGION, UKRAINE — On Sunday, Ukrainian and Russian forces received new blows near Siebydonetsk, military authorities and analysts said Moscow resumed attacks on the city, one of the last major Ukrainian strongholds in the eastern main region. said.

The Battle of Sievierodonetsk emerged as another important point of the war as Russia struggled to achieve victory. After unsuccessful air strikes on the capital Kyiv and Russia’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, Russian forces have regrouped and appear to now focus on capturing the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. A victory at Sievierodonetsk would give the Russians control of Luhansk, one of the two regions that make up the region.

Moscow has already suffered heavy losses in advancing towards the city, but capturing it will allow troops to attack the Ukrainian regional military headquarters, Kramatorsk, to the west. At the same time, Ukraine’s western allies are racing howitzers and other long-range weapons to the front lines to bolster resistance.

The ongoing battle is also a sign of Moscow’s scaled-down military objectives as the war approaches its three-month mark. Occupying all of Ukraine at once proved to be out of Moscow’s reach, but as the Russians advanced east-west, they slowly succeeded in annihilating Ukraine.

On Sunday in Sievierodonetsk, Russian forces attempted to break through the city’s defenses from four directions. However, neither side has been able to move the front lines to practical advantage, with mostly desolate farmland and a chaotic battlefield landscape dominated by small mining towns and villages.

Serhiy Haidai, head of the administration of the Ukrainian military in Luhansk, said the Russian forces had retreated to their former positions after the Ukrainian forces had defeated them. Russian troops continued to fire mortar shells from residential areas in Sibierodonetsk, damaging at least seven houses.

Earlier on Sunday, Haidai said the Ukrainian National Guard destroyed the heavy artillery Pion that the Russians used to bombard Sievierodonetsk and destroy the bridge connecting it to the city of Lysychansk on the other side of the river. Seversky Donets River.

Haidai said Russian propagandists bragged about the weapon’s whereabouts and allowed the city’s defenders to aim more precisely. “The bees will come soon,” he wrote on his messaging app, Telegram.

Ukrainian forces also said they destroyed a bridge and a Russian vehicle at Seversky Donets near the town of Serebrianka, about 20 miles west of Sievierodonetsk. A Ukrainian military statement described Russia’s plans to cross the river as “mission impossible”.

The 650-mile-long river originating in Russia and flowing through the Donbas region to the southeast presented a significant natural obstacle to Russian attack. Some of the biggest losses of the invading forces in the war to date have occurred in attempts to cross the river this month.

As a sign of the offensive’s importance to Moscow’s strategic planners, Russia reportedly deployed a company of Terminator armored vehicles into battles that were part of an unsuccessful offensive against Kyiv. British military intelligence report Sunday release.

“However, with up to 10 terminators deployed, this will not have a significant impact on the campaign,” the report said.

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington research institute that tracks the conflict, said on Saturday that Russian forces “intensified their efforts to besiege and occupy Sievierodonetsk”. Donbass area.

Further west, Russian forces from the city of Izium attempted to advance south into the Donbas region for several weeks, but their attack was delayed by strong Ukrainian resistance.

For several weeks, Ukrainian and Russian forces engaged in exhausting wars of attrition, often fiercely fought over small areas. A village could one day fall into Russian hands and then be taken back by Ukrainians a few days later.

Ukrainian forces on Sunday said Russian forces had attacked several locations along the eastern front. A war assessment, released early Sunday evening, described concentrated artillery fire on mostly deserted towns and villages.

Russian artillery bombards Ukrainian positions and reconnaissance attacks north of the Sloviansk city of Donetsk, which the Russians were trying to occupy, but was rejected, a Ukrainian military report said.

Farther east, Russian forces attacked the two front-line villages of Prudnovka and Alexandrovka with mortar and artillery, but failed to advance, the assessment said.

On Sunday, Ukrainian troops at a location south of Izium were watching the front lines as artillery and mortars pierced the skies.

“They’re always trying a little bit,” said Oleh, 56, commander of a volunteer unit south of Izium, requesting that the front-line positions not be pinpointed under military protocols.

“But we are holding on,” he added.

He added that Ukrainian forces had held positions south of Izium for two months and were confident they would deter further attacks as long as Western military support continues.

“We’re ready to do anything, but we need more heavy weapons and we’re relying on our allies for that,” Oleh said.

As the war drew nearer four months, Western countries greatly increased aid to Ukraine. This is an effort to break the balance in a situation where conflict becomes more protracted and costly.

Late last week, the US Senate approved about $40 billion in aid to Ukraine, including lethal aid. Combined with the aid approved in March, the package is the largest foreign aid package passed by Congress in at least 20 years.

The Russian government has warned that Western countries will pay an unspecified price for aid to Ukraine. Saturday in Moscow Defense Ministry The Ukrainian government claimed to have attacked a military base west of Kyiv filled with Western military equipment not mentioned.

President Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday said he could not confirm whether the arsenal had been attacked because he had not had an opportunity to consult with the Ukrainian government.

“All I can say is that we have a diverse and resilient supply chain for these weapons in Ukraine,” said Sullivan.

“So, even if there is a situation where Russia can target and strike some ships on Ukrainian land, from a strategic point of view, we will not fundamentally stop the military support we provide,” he said.

Polish President Andrzej Duda visited Kyiv on Sunday and said the future of Ukraine must be determined and the international community must demand a complete withdrawal of Russia.

Duda said that if even a small part of Ukraine was sacrificed in a peace deal, “it would be a huge blow not only to the country of Ukraine, but to the entire Western world.”

“There have been voices of concern that Ukraine will have to yield to Putin’s demands,” Duda said about the Russian president in a foreign leader’s first speech to the Ukrainian parliament after the outbreak of the war. “Only Ukraine has the right to decide its own future.”

Duda’s remarks come at a time when the governments of Germany, France and Italy have offered a cease-fire, but Ukraine has outraged that it is selfish and premature. Ukrainian officials, backed by some Eastern European governments, say Russia is hardly ready for serious peace talks and must take a decisive blow to end the conflict completely. Kyiv claims that his army has momentum in the war, despite his significant losses.

callotagall Reported from the Donetsk region of Ukraine. Matthew Mfock Big from Krakow, Poland; And Maria Abihabib from Mexico City. Andrew E. Kramer Contributed report in Pokrovsk, Ukraine Jolan Canno Youngs in Tokyo.

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