Russia has intensified offensive in eastern Ukraine – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

In recent weeks, Russia, in line with its new tactics, has increased pressure in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

– The situation in the Donbas is extremely difficult. As in previous days, the Russian army is trying to attack Soviet and Sevierodonetsk.

This is what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj said in a speech on Saturday night. He nevertheless claims that the Ukrainian forces have managed to prevent Russian advance.

A man moves his horse due to a bombing near Sievjerodonetsk on May 18.

Foto: YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP

according to British intelligence Sievjerodonetsk is one of Russia’s tactical priorities no. Sievjerodonetsk is the next largest city in Luhansk Oblast.

Attack from four different directions

Geir Hågen Karlsen is a lieutenant colonel and head teacher at the Norwegian Defense College. He points out that Russia has been attacking the eastern part of the Donbas region for over four weeks now.

– There has been very little progress in the four weeks, and the forces are concentrated in the area all the way east around the cities of Sievjerodonetsk and Slovjansk, says Karlsen.

– They are probably making an attempt to cut off the cities, but they are a long way from succeeding.

Map of the war in Ukraine

Map of the war in Ukraine. Source: Institute for the study of war / AEI’s critical threats project / NRK (Updated 21.05.2022)

The governor of Luhansk also reports that Russian forces have not closed in on invading Sevierodonetsk. This despite the fact that they have attacks from “four different directions”, write The Guardian.

Russia is said to have deployed its “Terminator” tanks to the Sevierodonetsk region. The battalion, which is the only one with this type of tank, suffered heavy losses as they failed to invade Kyiv at the beginning of the war.

– With a maximum of ten “Terminator” tanks deployed, it is unlikely that it will have any impact, writes British intelligence.

Russian-backed separatists have controlled parts of Donetsk and Luhansk counties in the Donbas region since 2014. The goal is now to occupy the rest of the Donbas.

Slovenian next goal

According to the Ukrainian military, Russia is also preparing to restart the offensive in the city of Slovyansk in Donetsk Oblast.

On Sunday, they reported that Russia would have bombed the villages of Viropillia, Dibrivne and Dovhenke – as part of the goal of taking Slovyansk.

A resident is sitting outside in Mariupol, by a block that has been badly damaged by the war.

A resident sits outdoors in Mariupol, by a block that has been badly damaged by the war. Mariupol is now under Russian control after almost three months of fighting.

Photo: ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO / Reuters

I don’t update on Telegram On Sunday, the country’s emergency authorities wrote that the attack had intensified in all settlements in Luhansk.

– It is impossible to say the exact number of dead, because during a constant fire it is not possible to map residential buildings and infrastructure.

Karlsen believes that experience from earlier in the war has shown that even if Russia were to be able to surround the cities, it would take a long time to conquer them.

– This is probably a long-term project.

Another challenge for the Russians is that their forces will be forced back further north, including in Kharkiv. It can erode their supply lines, especially for those who attack Slovyansk.

– Ukraine also receives some western material, something that can change the balance of power, he says.

Geir Hågen Karlsen

In total, the Ukrainians have taken back more terrain north of Kharkiv than they have lost around the Donetsk area, says Geir Hågen Karlsen.

Photo: Gunhild Hjermundrud / NRK

– Why are the cities of Sevierodonetsk and Slovyansk so important to the Russians?

– The Russians have said that they want to take control of the entire Donbas, and that means the two counties of Donetsk and Luhansk. This is a small corner of Luhansk, so this is where they have started, says Karlsen.

– We may have thought earlier in the war that they would try a larger cut and take the whole of Donetsk and Luhansk, but they are far, far away. This shows the limitations of the Russians’ ability to take terrain.

Not applicable with ceasefire

Ukraine says there is no question of a ceasefire or acceptance of Russian demands in the Donbas region. It writes NTB, which quotes Reuters.

The US Secretary of Defense and the Italian Prime Minister are among those who have recently called for immediate ceasefire between the parties.

Russian soldiers guard an area in Kherson, southern Ukraine on May 20.  Photo taken by the AP on a trip organized by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Russian soldiers guard an area in Kherson, southern Ukraine on May 20. The photo was taken by the news agency AP on a trip organized by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Photo: AP

Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podoljak reiterates that it will not be relevant for them to agree to any agreement that means that Ukraine must give up territory.

A break in the campaigns will only lead to Russia striking back harder in the end, says the chief negotiator.

– The war will not stop. It will only be seen on pause for a while. Russia will then launch a new offensive, even more bloody and large-scale.

Flight alarms – parliament had to cancel meeting

The plane alarm goes off over large parts of Ukraine on Sunday, with the exception of the eastern and southern regions, according to Ukrainian Justice.

The Ukrainian parliament had to cancel a meeting and take refuge. In Zhytomyr, there are attacks on what are called strategic goals. The railway station in the Zhytomyr region will also be attacked again.

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