Thu. May 30th, 2024

Unpacking Putin’s Creepy Move into Ukraine’s ‘Stronghold Cities’

Jamie Roberts By Jamie Roberts May15,2024

New maps show Ukraine‘s “fortress cities” in the eastern Donetsk region targeted for capture by Putin’s forces.

It comes as Kyiv army chief Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi warns that the situation on the eastern front has “significantly worsened,” amid a rise in Russian attacks in the region over the past few weeks.

Russia hopes to snatch a “group of major cities” in the Donetsk region, including Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Druzhkivka, and Kostyantynivka, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has said. To view the map, click here.

The cities are between 7.5 to 18.6 miles from the current front line, with Pokrovsk, southwest of Bakhmut, also forming part of the defensive barrier.

Syrskyi said in a statement that towards Pokrovsk, Putin‘s troops are using “dozens” of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles in a bid to breach Ukraine‘s defenses.

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In a statement on Saturday, the ISW said: “Russian threats to Druzhkivka and Kostyantynivka are very operationally significant since these ‘fortress’ cities help form the backbone of the Ukrainian defense in Donetsk Oblast and of eastern Ukraine in general.”

The American think thank evaluated that if Russian forces manage to capture Chasiv Yar, a settlement to the west of Bakhmut, it would give Russia a platform to “begin attacking the southern ‘fortress’ cities in the Ukrainian defensive belt directly,” as per Newsweek.

In his statement yesterday, Syrskyi said Russian commanders hoped to capture Chasiv Yar by May 9, and said Moscow plans to advance towards Kramatorsk (a Donetsk city north of Druzhkivka and south of Sloviansk).

Kyiv has made repeated calls to Western allies for further military aid as a package of support stalls in Washington.

Analysts have stressed that Ukraine‘s ability to hold off Russian advances will depend on Western – and particularly American – weapons tranfers.

Kyiv’s army is trying to repel Russia‘s slow gains westward as their personnel face shortages of key equipment, air defences, and ammo.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustan Umerov complained Sunday that half of promised Western military support to Ukraine fails to arrive on time. That, he said, makes it hard to undertake proper military planning and ultimately costs the lives of soldiers.

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Western leaders have sworn to stand by Ukraine as long as they need to defeat Russia’s full-scale invasion of February 24 2022, and Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov arrived in Kyiv on Monday to show his support.

More than 20 European heads of state and government and other Western officials were due to meet in Paris on Monday to discuss the war at what French President Emmanuel Macron called a “critical” juncture. He says Kyiv needs more military resources and likely will require them over an extended period of time.

Addressing the summit via video, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized the need to increase joint production of weapons and ammunition, improve Ukrainian air defenses and put pressure on Russia via sanctions and confiscation of assets.

“We have to prove that we can deprive Russia of its advantage in the sky, in financing aggression, and in the political sphere. This is the task of the year,” Zelenskyy said.

U.S. President Joe Biden was also seeking to remove political roadblocks on providing more aid to Ukraine, convening the top four congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday.

The ISW assessed that, “If the United States does not resume providing aid to Ukraine and Ukrainian forces continue to lack essential artillery and air-defense munitions in particular, however, even badly-trained and poorly-equipped Russian troops might be able to conduct successful offensive operations.”

Jamie Roberts

By Jamie Roberts

Jamie is an award-winning investigative journalist with a focus on uncovering corruption and advocating for social justice. With over a decade of experience in the field, Jamie's work has been instrumental in bringing about positive change in various communities.

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2 thoughts on “Unpacking Putin’s Creepy Move into Ukraine’s ‘Stronghold Cities’”
  1. As a military analyst, I find Putin’s aggressive move into Ukraine’s stronghold cities deeply concerning. The escalation of Russian attacks in the region is alarming, and the strategic significance of capturing these “fortress” cities cannot be underestimated. It is crucial for the international community to stand united against this blatant act of aggression. Ukraine’s defense in Donetsk Oblast hangs in the balance, and decisive action must be taken to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

  2. I believe Putin’s aggressive moves in targeting Ukraine’s “fortress cities” are deeply concerning. The escalating tensions in the eastern region pose a significant threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty and stability. It is crucial for the international community to stand united against such blatant acts of aggression.

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