kyiv expects a Russian offensive “very soon” on the east of the country

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The noose is tightening. The Ukrainian military said on Monday (April 11) that it expected the Russian offensive on the east of the country to take place ” very soon “. “According to our information, the enemy has almost completed its preparation for an assault on the East”said spokesman for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Oleksandr Motouzianyk.

“We predict that intense fighting will take place in these territories in the near future.he pointed out. We cannot predict when this will take place [exactement], this is information from Western sources. “The Ukrainian army is ready”, however assured Mr. Motouzianyk. On the ground, Ukrainian troops are reinforcing their positions in anticipation of an imminent attack, in particular by digging new trenches or by mining roadsides.

Read also: War in Ukraine Live: According to kyiv, liberating Mariupol is “military impossible”, pro-Russian separatists claim to have taken control of the port

Analysts believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to secure a victory in this region ahead of the May 9 military parade that celebrates the Soviet victory over the Nazis in Russia. ” Next week, (…), Russian troops will move on to even bigger operations in the East”Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Sunday evening.

“The battle for Donbass will last for several days, and during these days our cities could be completely destroyed”predicted on Facebook Serhi Haïdaï, the governor of the Luhansk region, in the Donbass, calling again on civilians to leave the region.

“Ultimate battle” in Mariupol

After scaling back its plans and withdrawing its troops from the kyiv region and northern Ukraine, Moscow has made the total conquest of Donbass in the east its priority. Part of the region has been controlled since 2014 by pro-Russian separatists.

One of the main objectives in this region is the city of Mariupol, besieged for over forty days by Russian forces. Taking this strategic port would consolidate Russian territorial gains on the coastal strip along the Sea of ​​Azov by connecting the Donbass regions to the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers The Donbass caught in a pincer movement, the new Russian strategy

Addressing South Korea’s National Assembly on Monday, which he was addressing by videoconference, Mr. Zelensky said the Russians had “Completely destroyed Mariupol and reduced it to ashes”, accusing Moscow of wanting to make this strategic port ” an example “.

kyiv now seems to be preparing for the fall of this martyred city. “Today will probably be the last battle” in Mariupol “because our ammunition is running out”wrote on Facebook on Monday the 36and National Navy brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which fights in the strategic port.

“It will be death for some of us and captivity for others. We don’t know what will happen, but we really ask you to remember [de nous] with a kind word”also writes this unit of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which says it is “slowly disappearing”.

No military solution

“For more than a month, we fought without resupplying ammunition, without food, without water”doing “the possible and the impossible”they added, regretting the lack of help “from the command of the army and the president” Zelensky. “We only once received fifty shells, twenty mines, NLAW anti-tank missilesthe brigade continued. Nothing else was given to us (…). There were only broken promises. »

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers The broken life of Lyudmyla Kolossovych, director of the Mariupol theater: “I had felt a wild fear”

On Sunday, Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, made it clear that he was “now impossible to break the siege of Mariupol by military means”. ” The troops [ukrainiennes] won’t enter”he said, in a video on YouTube. “We do not have enough forces and means now”he said, while assuring that “humanitarian, political actions” continued to be carried out.

Conversely, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valeri Zalujni, insisted Monday morning on the fact that “the defense of Mariupol continues”. “Contact with the defense units that heroically hold the city is stable”he said on Facebook, calling not to carry out military operations “a subject of public debate”. “Have faith in the Ukrainian Armed Forces! »he urged.

Le Monde and AFP

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