Moscow will “consult” the population to establish the borders of the annexed Ukrainian regions
The advance of the Ukrainian troops continues unstoppable on the Donbas front. After taking Limán, a key Donetsk municipality that the invaders used as a transportation hub, kyiv announced on Monday the conquest of Torske.
The spokesman for the Eastern Group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Serhiy Cherevati, stressed that Army units “have taken the village of Torske, on their way to Kreminaya”, before adding that the Russian forces “are trying to strengthen their positions in Kreminaya (in Luhansk) and build defenses. The Russian authorities have not commented so far.
It is the latest example of the invading troops crumbling, unable to stop a month-long counteroffensive that is allowing the Ukrainians to recapture large swaths of land by forced marches. “The Russians have been withdrawing. We broke their lines and have been hunting them ever since.” This is how a 26-year-old American volunteer told The New York Times about the advance of the Ukrainian Army. “Basically, we are destroying them,” he says.
The Ukrainian Army has also experienced advances in recent hours on another front, in the south, in the province of Kherson, recently annexed by Moscow. An extreme that the pro-Russian authorities themselves have recognized. The head of the region, Vladimir Saldo, said in a television interview on Monday that the situation “is tense.” “In the Dudchany area there is an advance and the Ukrainian troops have taken some settlements.” The area he refers to is on the west bank of the Dnipro River, some 40 kilometers downstream from the previous day’s fighting.
The difficult military situation of the Russians has spread fear of a possible escalation of the conflict that may even lead to a nuclear war. Many analysts in different media and blogs believe that the continuing losses on the ground, coupled with Putin’s growing loneliness in Russia, raises fears that the Russian leader will choose to press the nuclear red button. The enormous discontent among the population due to a partial mobilization that has been shown to be hasty and sloppy increases this feeling.
No one dares to predict what would happen then, although experts believe that US intelligence, which has been infallible in its forecasts, would detect the nuclear threat before it was carried out. Drones and satellites closely monitor the dozens of points from which the Kremlin could launch missiles.
Nor does the pressure that various radical groups exert on the Kremlin help. This is the case of the Chechen leader, Ramzán Kadírov, who called for the use of “low-intensity nuclear weapons” after the Limán disaster. The Kremlin has responded this Monday to his request. “In difficult times you have to exclude emotions,” said Peskov, who, however, has avoided criticizing Kadyrov.
The Ukrainian advances on the ground come just a few days after Putin officially proclaimed the annexation of four Ukrainian provinces: Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia. This Monday the Kremlin has reported that it will “consult” the population on the exact borders of these regions. “We will continue to consult the population of these regions,” Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov said when asked if Russia was annexing all or just parts of the territory it occupies in those areas.
The Donetsk and Lugansk regions were fully annexed after Moscow recognized the sovereignty of pro-Russian breakaway regimes in late February, just before the Russian assault on Ukraine. But the Kremlin said last week that the borders of the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions should be “clarified”.
Ukrainian provinces annexed by Russia. /
Fired a commissioner for recruiting men who were not worth
The State Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom has highlighted in its latest report the chaos in the mobilization of Russian reservists. Local administrations, according to British intelligence, recruit men who do not meet the criteria announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Defense Ministry. Officers of the Russian troops deployed in Ukraine also face difficulties in training arriving reservists and in finding soldiers to lead the new units, London notes. The governor of Russia’s Khabarovsk region, Mikhail Degtiarev, has reported the dismissal of a military commissar because half of the recruits he had selected had to be returned home as they did not meet the criteria for mobilization.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.