Russian troops are about to close the siege of the city of Severodonetsk, and the next few days will be decisive in Ukraine’s effort to repel a final assault that will see one of Moscow’s main objectives achieved, this after having been forced to review its offensive campaign in the neighboring country, after the colossal failure of the assault on kyiv and other regions to the west. The regional governor of Lugansk, Serhii Gaidai, gave the alert this Sunday, specifying that in the next few hours the outcome of a battle which has dragged on for several weeks would be decided, this at a time when this strategic city is on the point of being surrendered to the invader. According to the head of the city’s military administration, Alexander Stryuk, Ukraine yesterday controlled only a third of Severodonetsk, the last major urban center in the Lugansk region that has not yet completely fallen under the control of the invading troops. This large industrial city, and its neighbor Lyschansk, are not expected to last long, as the region has been under intense bombardment for weeks, particularly above the Azot chemical plant, where, according to Gaidai, 800 civilians have refugees. At a time when the Ukrainian positions are besieged, and when the lack of weapons and the high number of daily casualties suggest that the Kremlin will soon announce victory in the effort to control the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which together , form Donbass, Ukraine remains hopeful that the European allies will react in time and equip their forces with adequate weapons so that they can regain ground. However, and after the difficulties that the Russian troops felt in controlling the southern part of the city, two bridges that connected it to the city center were destroyed, and the third, the only one that resists, is under fire from the artillery, being at the moment the last supply line that holds the hopes of the Ukrainian forces.
Is Severodonetsk worth fighting for? Although Russia will eventually declare dominance over the entire Donbass region, a Pentagon source who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Washington Post explained that this does not mean that Moscow can later control the region, as Ukraine has adopted a very effective “mobile zone”. defense”, which retreats when Russian troops advance, and which reinvests as soon as the enemy’s firepower slows down, recovering territories. “The Ukrainians are doing a very good job,” recalled this senior American Defense official, without hiding that the prospect is that the region, which has been experiencing an incessant war since 2014, between the Ukrainian army and the militias supported by the Kremlin, must fall in Russian Domain in a week. Last week, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said forces under his command were losing around 100 men every day and called on Western countries to send more sophisticated weapons so his men could counter the intensity of the attacks. Russian attacks. After the Kremlin was confronted with its inability to carry out an invasion that would subjugate the whole of Ukrainian territory within weeks to its military power, this second phase of its offensive proved far more realistic and succeeded in resuming the face, taking advantage of its superiority in long-range artillery, and concentrating on a much smaller number of targets, which, over the weeks, ended up causing such wear and tear that the resistance forces felt crushed. And even Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who just a few days ago never tired of repeating that the battle of Severodonetsk was crucial and would decide the fate of Donbass at this time, and given the intensity Russian attacks, which reduce these cities to mere areas of devastation, he is faced with the dilemma of trying to figure out if it is still worth fighting and sacrificing his troops to keep alive a battle for a city whose almost all of its 100,000 inhabitants have already fled.
And Zelensky is out of options and he knows it. For this reason, he clings more and more to the possibility of his country receiving EU candidate status, which is the only sign of hope he had to offer the Ukrainian people in his speech. usual that he pronounces on Saturday. , stating that they were now “in the final stages of this diplomatic marathon”. He added that he hopes to receive a response very soon, after meeting European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Kyiv, with the EU leader assuring that Ukraine will be informed of the decision next week. In any case, Zelensky knows that he now faces not one but two enemies: Russia and time itself. Indeed, over time, one need only open the pages of the major newspapers of the western world to realize that the war in Ukraine is losing this other war for media attention and notoriety. Their pleas for more help continue to go out, but after the US, UK and European governments and other countries have already sent billions of dollars in military equipment and other forms of support for their efforts to to repel the Russian invasion, Zelensky knows the tap will eventually leak and start dripping, only to force Russia to run out in eastern Ukraine and not open other fronts in its expansionist delirium. Since the start of its invasion in February, Russian forces have launched attacks on warehouses, railroads and other infrastructure in an attempt to cut Ukrainian supply lines to prevent the neighboring country’s military from holding back resistance on the front lines. While most of the fighting is now centered in eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin has continued to launch attacks further west, often using missiles fired by its naval fleet hundreds of miles into the Black Sea. .