“There is heavy fighting on the border with the Donetsk region, near Popasna”, commented on Friday evening on Facebook, Serguiï Gaïdaï, Ukrainian governor of the Lugansk region, reporting numerous losses in equipment and personnel. on the Russian side. “It’s a horror but they are still trying to achieve their ends. But, from the interceptions (of telephone communications), we understand that an entire battalion refused to attack because they see what is happening,” he noted.
“We continue to see that the Russians are not making a significant hold”
A US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the most significant Russian activity currently was taking place in the Donbass. “And basically we continue to see that the Russians are not making a significant hold” in this region, he said. “Ukrainian artillery thwarts Russian efforts to gain ground, including their efforts to cross the Donest River (…) which affects their ability to send significant reinforcements to northern Donbass,” the source continued.
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Friday that Ukrainian forces had “successfully” repelled a Russian attempt to cross this river near Severodonetsk, causing Moscow troops heavy losses.
Pressure on Russian commanders
This operation illustrates “the pressure under which Russian commanders find themselves to make progress in eastern Ukraine”, estimated the MoD, stressing that the Russian army had “failed to make significant advances although it concentrated its forces there after “having given up trying to impose itself in kyiv.
At the end of March, a few weeks after its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russia had withdrawn from the capital region, changing its “priority target” in an attempt to take control of eastern Ukraine. A spokesman for the Ukrainian general staff noted, this Saturday morning, that the Russians had “not interrupted their offensive in the eastern operational zone. The enemy continues its missile strikes on industrial infrastructure and its firing at civilian targets throughout Ukraine”.
Ten Russian attacks repelled in 24 hours around Donetsk and Lugansk
The General Staff itself, in its daily morning communiqué, reported that in the Donetsk and Tavriya region, the Russian army had used “mortars, artillery, grenade launchers and aerial means” to inflict maximum damage to the Ukrainian army “aimed at personnel, fortifications and buildings”.
Ten Russian attacks were repelled in 24 hours around Donetsk and Lugansk, he said.
According to the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Vladimir Putin “probably intends to annex southern and eastern Ukraine to the Russian Federation in the coming months”. “Ukraine and its Western partners probably have only a reduced window of opportunity to support a counter-offensive in the territories occupied before” their annexation, according to this body.
“The gradual liberation of the Kharkiv region proves that we will leave no one to the enemy”
The situation has apparently already reversed in Kharkiv, yet one of the priority targets for the Russians. “The enemy’s main activity in the Kharkiv region was the withdrawal of its units from the city of Kharkiv,” said the spokesman for the Ukrainian General Staff. “The gradual liberation of the Kharkiv region proves that we will leave no one to the enemy,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday evening in his daily message, announcing that the recovery of territories that fell into Russian hands was continuing. .
“1,015 localities have been liberated, six more in the last 24 hours”
“As of today, 1,015 localities have been liberated, six more in the past 24 hours,” Zelensky said. Water, electricity, communications, transport and public services have been restored there, he said, confident to keep in mind the cities and territories still under Russian occupation.
With a special thought for the 1,000 Ukrainian fighters entrenched in a maze of Soviet-era tunnels under the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, for whom “very difficult negotiations are underway on the next phase of evacuation, the seriously injured and the medical personnel”.
Women, children and the elderly who had taken refuge in these underground passages were all evacuated at the end of April thanks to an operation coordinated by the United Nations and the Red Cross after arduous negotiations.
Azovstal: “Very difficult negotiations with the enemy”
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk made the same observation, referring to “negotiations with the enemy (which) are very difficult”. “We are currently negotiating (the exfiltration) of 38 seriously injured fighters. We are advancing step by step. (…) There are no discussions at the moment for the release of 500 to 600 people”.
This Saturday, the Ukrainian General Staff specified in its daily morning statement that the Russian army had continued “the blockade of our units near the Azovstal factory. He carried out large-scale artillery and air strikes”.
Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov regiment, one of the Ukrainian formations fighting in Azovstal, appealed for help from the United States “to evacuate our wounded and (that they) mobilize all efforts to help extract of our regiment” of this encirclement.
“There are nearly 600 wounded on Azovstal”
“There are nearly 600 wounded on Azovstal, the Russians continue to bomb the military hospital,” Palamar testified from the factory. “We are going to resist as long as we can (…), if we hadn’t done it, this horde would go further”. But “we must not exaggerate the power of world leaders” in the face of Moscow’s determination, reacted Vereshchuk.
International efforts have so far proved unsuccessful in rescuing these Ukrainian soldiers defending this city 90% destroyed by Russian bombing.
In this context, the European Union pledged on Friday to provide additional aid of half a billion euros to support Ukraine’s fight, bringing it “to 2 billion euros in total “.
The foreign ministers of the G7 (Germany, France, Italy, Canada, United States, Japan and United Kingdom), joined by their Ukrainian counterparts, Dmytro Kouleba, and Moldovan, Nicu Popescu, are meeting until this Saturday. An informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers on Ukraine is also scheduled for this Saturday in Berlin.
letelegramme Fr Trans