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The battle of Donbas could prove decisive in Ukraine war

Day by day, Russia is hitting Ukraine’s Donbas region with relentless artillery and airstrikes, making slow but steady progress in taking over its neighbor’s industrial district.

Since the conflict is in its fourth month, it is a high-stakes campaign that can decide the direction of the whole war.

Suppose Russia is dominant in the battle of Donbas. In that case, Ukraine will lose not only land but also most of its military forces, paving the way for Moscow to take more territory and impose its conditions on Kyiv. A Russian defeat could lay the groundwork for a counterattack to Ukraine, and could lead to a political upheaval for the Kremlin.

After a failed initial attempt to capture Kiev and Kharkiv, the second largest city without proper planning and coordination, Russia turned its attention to Donbass, a region of mining and factories where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting against Ukrainian forces since 2014. .

Learning from previous mistakes, Russia is paying more attention there, relying on longer-range bombing to soften Ukraine’s defenses.

It seems to be working: the supplied Russian forces have made a profit in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions that make up the Donbas, controlling more than 95% of the former and about half of the latter.

Ukraine is losing between 100 and 200 troops a day, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told the BBC that Russia has “pushed everything other than nuclear to the front”. Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported that the death toll had risen to 100.

When the war went wrong for Russia, many thought that President Vladimir Putin could win after some gains in Donbas and then severely hurt the economy and stretch resources to get out of the conflict. But the Kremlin has made it clear that Ukraine expects to recognize all the gains it has made since Russia began its invasion – which Kiev has ruled out.

Russian forces control the entire Azov Sea coast, including the strategic port of Mariupol, the Kherson region, the main gateway to Crimea, and much of the Zaporizhzhia region, which could help further deepen Ukraine. Few expect Putin to stop.

Russia has a clear advantage in the artillery at the Battle of Donbas, thanks to heavy shells, rocket launchers and heavy ammunition. Ukrainians have had to be financially used to use artillery, while the Russians are constantly channeling their supply lines.

Moscow’s territorial gains in the south, including the Kherson region and much of the neighboring Zaporizhzhia region, have prompted Russian officials and their nominees to consider plans to reclaim these areas from Russia or claim independence, such as. The so-called “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ukrainian officials and Western analysts have expressed concern that Moscow may be trying to force its attack on the populated and industrialized Dnipro region in the northern Dnipro region, which could split Ukraine in two and pose a new threat to Kyiv.

All such intentions depend on Moscow’s success in the east. A defeat at Donbas would put Kyiv in a precarious position, as new recruits lack the skills of soldiers hardened in battle now fighting in the East and insufficient Western arms supplies to deal with a deeper Russian push.

Ukrainian officials allayed such fears, saying their army could be confident of halting Russia’s progress and launching a counterattack.

Additional report by The Associated Press.

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The battle of Donbas could prove decisive in Ukraine war Source link The battle of Donbas could prove decisive in Ukraine war

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