Russia launched a major offensive in eastern Ukraine and is trying to break through the defenses near the town of Kreminna, Serhiy Haidai, Ukraine’s appointed head of the Luhansk region, said on Monday.
Mr. Haidai told Ukrainian TV channel that Russian troops had attacked and were trying to advance west through a snowy and winter forest. There had been “maximum escalation” and a large increase in shelling and shelling, Haidai said.
“These attacks happen practically every day. We saw small groups of Russian soldiers trying to advance, sometimes with heavy armor support – infantry fighting vehicles and tanks – and sometimes not. But the fire did not stop.”
The Ukrainian official claimed the Russian attack was ineffective. “So far they have not had any success. Our defenders stopped them completely,” he said.
Signs of the Great Attack
Western governments believe Russia is planning a major attack on Ukraine, possibly as early as next week, before the conflict turns a year on February 24. The main objective of the offensive is said to be to wrest control of the entire Donbass region, including Luhansk and Donetsk, from Ukrainian forces.
Although the timing of the attack is unknown, Ukrainian government sources speak of a scenario that does not exclude ballistic missile attacks on major cities including Kiev, and attempted to cut off the eastern part of the country by bombing bridges and advancing in an arc from the north and south.
Military analysts suspect that Russia has enough infantry units to move quickly into Ukrainian territory. However, they acknowledge that some areas of the Ukraine-Russia border are sparsely defended, while the majority of Ukrainian forces are stationed in the eastern Donetsk region, where fighting is still raging in the region. around the city of Bakhmut.
There are more and more signs that the major offensive on the Eastern front has begun.
Russian forces are now moving forward, along a large front west of the towns of Svatove and Kreminna in the Lugansk region.
Once they have penetrated Ukraine’s lines here, Russian forces will be able to move one step closer to the much larger city of Kramatorsk in the neighboring Donetsk region. This is an important military center of Ukraine.
Haidai said Ukraine needs “heavy equipment and artillery, then we will not only be able to maintain our defenses but also carry out an effective counter-offensive operation.”
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), in its latest assessment of the hostilities on February 8, confirmed a “clear increase” in activities in the region over the past week.
Russia has made small gains along the border between the Kharkiv and Luhansk provinces, including in the village of Dvorichne, the think-tank said. The attack probably hasn’t “reached its maximum tempo yet,” the ISW said.
Mr. Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, and moderator of a media channel society Telegram, well-known, also claims that the Russian attack has begun. “Russia threw a huge amount of weapons and manpower to attack Ukraine, and it did for a while,” he wrote.
On the Donetsk front, fighting continues near Bakhmut, where Russian forces have been trying to take control since last summer.
A Ukrainian commander told a Western reporter that their defenders could hold out for “another month or two”.
Michael Kofman, director of Russia studies at the Center for Naval Analysis, a Virginia-based think tank, said the situation around Bakhmut “is becoming increasingly precarious for the Ukrainian military. , and I wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually pulled out of the city.”
But the heaviest fighting took place at the southern end of the front, where Russian forces are said to have deployed six battalion-level tactical groups to Vuhledar, a coal mining town in the Donetsk region, located in the Donetsk region. Ukrainian soldiers on the defensive.
The three-day battle in Vuhledar culminated on February 6, when the Ukrainian army reported that it had killed more than 1,000 Russian soldiers in one day, and destroyed 14 tanks and 28 armored personnel carriers. troops – an extraordinary number. According to a Ukrainian reserve officer, about 30 of them were damaged or destroyed in the Vuhledar area.
Russia also claimed heavy losses on the Ukrainian side. Al Jazeera said it was unable to independently verify claims on the battlefield.
m . problemfighter plane
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday night accused Germany of procrastinating in providing advanced weapons to help his country repel the Russian army.
To show his disappointment, the Ukrainian president said he “constantly had to convince” Prime Minister Olaf Scholz how to drive Russian troops out of his country.
Mr Zelensky’s comments stand in stark contrast to his own praise on February 8 for Britain during a surprise visit to London.
Mr Zelensky told the German news website Der Spiegel: “I had to put pressure to help Ukraine and constantly convince him that this help is not for us but for the Europeans. Our relationship with Germany has had its ups and downs.”
President Zelensky held talks with EU leaders in Brussels on February 9, and delivered a fiery speech to the European Parliament seeking more advanced weapons aid to Ukraine, similar to his speech. inspirational speech at the Palace of Westminster (London, England) on February 8, in which he said his country needed “wings for freedom”.
However, EU leaders were cold to Mr Zelensky’s call for the fighter jets, expressing doubts about whether to approve their deployment.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said NATO leaders would first have to consider the risk of sending warplanes that could drag Europe deeper into the conflict.
“Decisions like this, you have to make behind closed doors. Because there are so many sensitive issues that need to be discussed, there are pros and cons,” Mr. Rutte said. “You must be absolutely certain that you will not fall into a direct confrontation with Russia under Article 5 of NATO.”
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, one of Ukraine’s most staunch allies, said: “Our position is very clear, we can only act within the entire NATO formation. We will not be the first to hand over the fighters, but we will respond positively, provided that the countries with the most jets will be able to supply them to Ukraine.”
In the UK case, although Prime Minister Rishi Sunak previously said at a joint press conference with Mr Zelensky on February 8 that “nothing is ruled out” when it comes to the supply of jets to Ukraine.
But on February 9, when asked about the concern of some Western allies that the jet supply could risk drawing NATO into conflict with Russia, the British Prime Minister’s spokesman said: know, the British government will not send fighter jets to Ukraine if there is a risk to the safety of Britain.
“First of all, we have not made a decision on the delivery of the jets, we are currently providing training,” the official said. “But the point remains that the fighter is an extremely complex piece of equipment.”
In another development, on February 9, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said there would be no immediate transfer of British fighter jets to Ukraine.
“You’re not saying you’re sending fighter jets to Ukraine,” Wallace said during his visit to the Italian capital, Rome.
He told the BBC that Britain’s attempt to supply Ukraine with aircraft in the long term was to ensure security for the country to be “more realistic and effective” after the end of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict.
The Kremlin has repeatedly warned the West against supplying Ukraine with jets.
Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for the Russian President, said on February 9 that Ukraine would suffer if Britain or other Western countries provided combat aircraft to Kiev.
“The line between indirect and direct participation is disappearing. One can only express regret on this matter and say that such actions… lead to escalating tensions, prolonging the conflict and making the conflict more and more painful for Ukraine.” , said Mr. Peskov.
Minh Duc (According to The Guardian, Daily Mail, Al Jazeera)