Update on the war in Ukraine
At 48and On the day of the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian army and its western allies are still expecting a major offensive by Russian troops in the east to take control of the Donbass. According to the French General Staff, things could start ” in a few days “. “Russia could launch a major offensive to capture Donetsk and Luhansk regions or even penetrate there [fleuve] Dnieper, if its capacity allows, and complete the dismantling of the last resistances in Mariupol.”a spokesman told reporters.
A US military official added: in a media-covered briefing foreign policythat Russian bombing and air raids had decreased in recent days “As Russian Troops Still Positioning for Battle of Donbass”.
In Mariupol. According to Moscow, more than a thousand Ukrainian soldiers have been visiting the besieged strategic port for more than a month. The Ukrainians have not denied, but have assured that the city has not fallen and that there are still pockets of resistance in the Azovstal metallurgical complex, where the last Ukrainian troops are entrenched, for some hidden in a network of tunnels. City Mayor Vadym Boïtchenko confirms that 180,000 civilians are still waiting to be evacuated from the metropolitan area and surrounding villages. On Tuesday he had given a number of at least 20,000 deaths since the beginning of the war.
In the East. The Ukrainian authorities have called on the population of these regions to flee as soon as possible. The Ukrainians accuse the Russians of not being able to open a humanitarian corridor on Wednesday “Violation of the Armistice” in the Lugansk region. The leader of one of the two “republics” Unilaterally pro-Russian Leonid Passetchnik claimed his soldiers were now in control “80 to 90%” this region. According to him, the Ukrainian army is only present in the cities of Kremennaya, Rubizhne, Sievierodonetsk, Lisichansk and, to a lesser extent, in Popasnaya.
Kyiv and the North. Around the capital as elsewhere, Ukrainian authorities say they continue to find bodies every day in areas from which Russian forces withdrew in late March, particularly Boutcha and Borodianka. The Russian Defense Ministry has warned that if Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory continue, “ Strikes are carried out by the Russian army at decision-making centers, including in Kyiv”. According to the regional governor, seven people have been killed and 22 others injured in Russian bombing raids in the Kharkiv region (northeast) in the past 24 hours.
The difficult balance. As in other wars, the figures provided by the UN are used as a reference for civilian casualties: the estimate is preliminary “4,450 civilian casualties in the country: 1,892 dead and 2,558 injured” since February 24, but the UN says “believe the real numbers are much higher”. The UN has announced a change in methodology and that the next assessments should be closer to reality. As for military casualties, each side regularly reports the number of enemy soldiers killed. As for their own losses, they are more discreet. Russia said March 25 it had lost 1,351 troops. Ukraine admits losing soldiers in the fighting, but hasn’t released specific numbers.