Russian forces are waging a strong military assault in eastern Ukraine, as shown by reports of ceaseless rocket launches, bomb attacks, and artillery barrages in the Donbas area. This fresh attack is the outcome of a reorientation of Russia’s military effort in Ukraine, with a focus on Donbas. With the cities of Kramatorsk and Slovyansk next on the list, Russia is hoping to take control of Donbas by May 9 – the day it commemorates World War II’s triumph.
Despite claims that Moscow has ‘abandoned all prospect’ of a settlement with Kyiv, despite negotiations in Ankara and Istanbul, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence stated Russian soldiers are surrounding Ukraine’s fortified positions in the east. In another show of force, Russia is said to have deployed 76 battalion tactical units in the Donbas region. Each of these battalion tactical groups has 800 men. These events lend credence to some who claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is exploiting the discussions to gain time before launching another territorial grab.
Emphasize Kramatorsk and Slovyansk;
Following the liberation of Kreminna last week, Russian soldiers have now moved their attention to Kramatorsk and Slovyansk in the Donetsk Oblast. Kreminna, positioned along a major route, might provide a base for Russia to seize control of the Donbas area, which includes Luhansk and Donetsk.
Experts predict Russia’s next step will be an attack on the two cities of Kramatorsk and Slovyansk, which are critical to Ukraine’s defenses, from Izyum in the north to Donetsk in the south, and Severodonetsk in the east. Kramatorsk serves as a major military centre for Ukrainian forces in the Donbas. Control of Kreminna, an hour’s drive from Kramatorsk, provides Russian forces with a platform from which to launch an attack on the city. Slovyansk, on the other hand, is critical to Moscow’s goals because of its closeness to territory already under Russian control, such as Izyum in the north, Donetsk in the south, and Luhansk in the east.
Since Slovyansk is located further west of these regions, Russia is unable to establish a continuous continent of seized territory in Donbas. Control of Slovyansk might allow Moscow to intensify its campaign in Rubizhne – a city to the northeast of Slovyansk – and march westward with the goal of annexing more territory. During the Russian drive to conquer Donbas in 2014, the Russians temporarily held Slovyansk.
9 May- deadline
According to sources, the Kremlin hopes to complete its objectives in eastern Ukraine by May 9, the anniversary of Russia’s World War II triumph over Nazi Germany. This is possibly why, in the first week of April, General Alexander Dvornikov was given complete command of the invasion of Ukraine. The shift of guard demonstrates that Russia has learned from its command and logistics flaws in the early stages of the war.
The fact that Donbas is closer to Russia’s border will also work in Russia’s favor, as it will allow Moscow to provide supplies to its soldiers via short and secure lines, as opposed to earlier in the war, when breakdowns in the supply chain hindered Russian forces’ advance. A new centralized system under General Dvornikov, along with enhanced supply routes, might allow Russia to maintain an aggressive offensive in eastern Ukraine. There is little question that the destiny of the Ukrainian war now depends on how swiftly the needle moves in Donbas.