Kiev expects a Russian offensive in the east of the country “very soon”

Ukrainian soldiers in the Donbass city of Sievierodonetsk on April 7, 2022.

The noose tightens. The Ukrainian army said Monday (April 11) it expected the Russian offensive to take place in the east of the country ” Very fast ““According to our information, the enemy is almost finished with its preparations for an attack on the East”said Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motouzianyk.

“We predict that heavy fighting will take place in these areas 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 forces are fortifying their positions in anticipation of an imminent attack, notably by digging new trenches or digging roadsides.

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

“The battle for Donbass will last 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, again urging citizens to leave the region.

“Ultimate battle” in Mariupol

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

One of the main targets in this region is the city of Mariupol, which has been besieged by Russian troops for more than 40 days. Taking this strategic port would consolidate Russia’s territorial gains on the coastal strip along the Sea of ​​Azov by connecting the Donbass regions to the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

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Addressing South Korea’s National Assembly on Monday, which he addressed via video conference, Mr Zelensky said that the Russians “Maryupol completely destroyed and reduced to ashes”, Accusing Moscow of wanting to make this strategic port ” An example “

Kiev now seems to be preparing for the fall of this tortured city. “Today will probably be the last battle” in Mariupol “because our ammunition is running out”wrote on Facebook on Monday the 36and National Naval Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, fighting in the strategic port.

“For some of us it will be death and for others captivity. 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 yes “slowly disappear”

No military solution

“For over a month we fought without ammunition, without food, without water”doing “the possible and the impossible”they added, lamenting the lack of help “of the command of the army and the president” Zelensky. “We only received fifty shells, twenty mines, NLAW anti-tank missiles oncethe brigade continued. We’ve been given nothing else There were only broken promises. †

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On Sunday, Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, made it clear that he “Now impossible to break the siege of Mariupol by military means”. ” The forces [ukrainiennes] won’t come in”he said, in a video on YouTube. ‘We don’t have enough strength and resources right now’he said, assuring that “humanitarian, political actions” continue to be performed.

Conversely, the Supreme Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valeri Zalujni, insisted on Monday morning that “the defense of Mariupol continues”. ‘Contact with the defense units that heroically control the city is stable’he said on Facebook, calling for no military operations “a subject of social debate”“Have faith in the Ukrainian Armed Forces! †he insisted.

Le Monde and AFP

Igor Belanov, Ballon d’Or in 1986, joins the Ukrainian army

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