The army responds to the advance, the president goes to Zaporizhzhia. Moscow also confirms the killing of Kutuzov: a dozen senior officers have died
FROM OUR SEND
MIRNOGRAD (Central Donbass)
“When you hear the hiss of the grenade, it’s too late. All that remains is to throw yourself on the ground, covering your ears and hoping that the noise and the movement of air will not break your eardrums ». David and Artiom tell it well about this uneven war of the Ukrainians against the Russian carpet bombings on the Donbass. They are respectively 18 and 27 years old, volunteers in the regular army who have been fighting for 102 days to try to stop Putin’s advance. We meet them in a playground in Mirnograd, the town where they enjoy a few hours of respite before returning to the front which for them is located about forty kilometers to the east and precisely in the disputed village of Avdiivka bombed relentlessly by Russian artillery entrenched at the outskirts of Donetsk.
Attacks and counterattacks
“The Russians always adopt the same tactics. Their advances are preceded by artillery shells and sparse and imprecise mortars, then the armored vehicles arrive together with the infantry, we chase them away with anti-tank missiles and close combat, inflicting serious losses on them. They immediately retreat, but shortly afterwards heavy bombardments mixed with air raids begin, which do not spare anything, make entire neighborhoods scorched earth », they explain. Three days ago it happened to them too: «We were leaving Avdiivka in a jeep when we got a laundry. We stopped and while we were in the process of changing the wheel the bangs started. It was terrifying, literally clouds of bombs rocked the neighborhood. There was no where to take refuge, we remained motionless on the asphalt for a quarter of an hour. Then, suddenly, an unreal calm returned. We reassembled the wheel quickly, but then the blows resumed. We still threw ourselves on the asphalt, like this for half a day: we are alive by a miracle ». They are stories that help to understand the dynamics of this phase of the conflict 102, where the Russian advance into the Donbass marks time and the conflict of movement is being replaced by a long war of position. However, the factor in favor of the Ukrainians remains the arrivals of Western weapons, especially American artillery and missile launchers that could really push the Russians back to their starting positions and relaunch the Ukrainian plan to retake Mariupol.
Yesterday President Zelensky went to Zaporizhzhia to visit refugees from Mariupol and inspect the units engaged on the southern front. Kiev confirms that it has blocked the Russian advance on the key city of Severodonetsk and recaptured more than half of the urban area. An evolution that according to the strategists of the British army is putting the entire Russian project for the complete conquest of the Donbass in crisis to complete the successes of 2014. Moscow’s military difficulties are underlined among other things by the killing of the major general Roman Kutuzov, it appears in the Donbass. The news is confirmed by the Moscow media. About ten Russian generals have now died in action since 24 February. The risk that Moscow’s frustration could now vent on the prisoners is translating into the threat of the death penalty for three foreign volunteers in the Ukrainian ranks, two British and one Moroccan, who have fallen into the hands of pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk.