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Bombings in eastern Ukraine: According to Zelenskyj, Russians want to “eliminate everything alive”

Bombing in eastern Ukraine
According to Zelenskyj, Russians want to “eliminate all living things”

The situation in Donbass is “extremely difficult,” says Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. He speaks of massive bombing by the Russians. In some cases, according to the authorities, evacuations are not even possible. The Ukrainian army also sees an important hub in danger.

According to the Ukrainian government, the Russian armed forces are trying to seize key positions in eastern Ukraine with heavy bombardments. The situation in the Donbass is “extremely difficult” because the Russians are trying to “eliminate everything alive,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the night. Russia is trying to encircle the cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. The Ministry of Defense reported fierce fighting around Bakhmut.

The fall of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region would give Russian troops control of a crucial hub that currently serves as the command center for much of Ukraine’s war effort in the east. “We have reached a point where we are in the process of making evacuations compulsory,” said the head of Bakhmut’s military administration, Serhiy Kalian.

The governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Gajday, on the other hand, reported that the shelling in Severodonetsk was so heavy that evacuations were impossible. “Such a density of shelling will not allow us to calmly gather people and take them,” he explained on Telegram.

In the south, on the other hand, the front seemed stable, although the Ukrainians are claiming gains. During the night, the Ukrainian Southern Command reported that its divisions were “advancing” through the Mykolaiv region in the direction of the Cherson region. The Ukrainians also accused the Russian “occupiers” of killing fleeing civilians with mines, bombs and gunfire.

Adviser: “Main objective achieved in Mariupol”

Despite the fall of the port city of Mariupol, an adviser to the Ukrainian defense minister sees the main military objective there as having been achieved. “The main goal was achieved in Mariupol. It was to hold back the Russian groups, (…) more than 20,000 Russian soldiers. And this was made possible thanks to the exploits of the defenders of Mariupol and the defenders who were later in Azovstal”, said Jurij Sak in the ARD. As a result, the Russian troops would not have been able to conquer other areas in eastern Ukraine.

Azovstal soldiers gave Ukrainians time to regroup and receive more military aid from their international partners. “From this perspective, the goal was achieved,” says Sak. The last Ukrainian fighters at the Azov steelworks in Mariupol surrendered last week.

Ukraine will consider the war won if Russian troops withdraw to the borders that were in place before February 24, Sak said. “Of course, this war of aggression against Ukraine started in 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula,” the adviser continued. A return of Crimea must therefore also be part of negotiations. The main goal, however, is to liberate the area. “The rest of the targets can then be negotiated diplomatically.”

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