Moscow/Leopolis, (EFE).- The fierce Ukrainian resistance moves further away from the objective of Russian President Vladimir Putin, of displaying some victory in the eastern region of Donbas in his speech on Tuesday on the state of the nation, in the that will evaluate the progress of the war after a year of fighting in the neighboring country.
“Everyone is waiting to hear an assessment of current events, of the special military operation, of the international situation and the opinion of the president on how we are handling all this and how we will develop” as a country, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said today.
The president’s intervention before both houses of Parliament, the first in almost two years, will coincide with the date a year ago when Putin recognized the independence of Donetsk and Lugansk, a prelude to the military campaign that he would order to start three days later “to liberate the Donbas”.
Russian forces control approximately 90% of Lugansk and less than half of Donetsk, but Russia still annexed these two regions along with southern Zaporizhia and Kherson last September, in which it does not control all of the territory either.
Bajmut, unfulfilled goal
According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russian troops had been ordered to take at least the Bakhmut stronghold in the Donetsk province ahead of Putin’s speech.
The mercenaries of the Wagner Group, supported by the Russian regular forces, are advancing on this front but only a few meters a day.
Wagner’s boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has admitted that Bakhmut can be taken in March or April at the earliest.
The interim leader imposed by Russia in the Donetsk region, Denis Pushilin, assured the day before that Russian troops have improved their positions near Bakhmut, although he acknowledged that advancing is very difficult in the face of Ukrainian resistance.
This Sunday, a mayor of Shakhtarsk, Alexandr Shatov, told the official TASS news agency that Russian forces are evacuating citizens from the Bakhmut suburbs that are under their control, which shows the fierce battle that is taking place around this city.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk confirmed on Friday that there is fighting in the city and artillery hits residential neighborhoods, so she urged the 6,000 civilians who still remain in Bakhmut (from 70,000 before the war) to leave immediately.
The immediate objective of Wagner’s mercenaries is to block the Chasiv Yar road and thus cut off supplies to the Kiev troops, which would bring them closer to the goal of creating a fence around the city, seen as a springboard to reach the Ukrainian strongholds of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.
The same Ukrainian resistance is the Russian forces in Vuhledar and Marrinka, near the city of Donetsk, the eponymous regional capital taken by Russia in 2014.
Ukraine designs a plan for the near future
Despite advice from some Western countries that it would be best to abandon the defense of Bakhmut, Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky insists that he will never voluntarily abandon the fortress, because if forces were withdrawn from there, Donetsk would be in danger of being destroyed. fall like a house of cards
The president also stressed last night that the defense of the province is crucial for “what we are preparing for the near future.”
Western analysts believe that Ukraine is planning a new offensive by late spring or summer, when it will already have received much of the heavy weapons promised by the West: armored vehicles, tanks and some long-range missiles.
French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu told Le Parisien newspaper today that his country will start sending AMX-10 light tanks to Ukraine at the end of next week. Almost two weeks ago, the first Leopard 2 tank of the four donated by Canada to Ukraine also arrived in neighboring Poland.
Fighting rages in neighboring Luganks
On the front in the neighboring Lugansk province, the situation is just as complicated as in Donetsk.
According to the interim leader appointed by the Kremlin, Leonid Pasechnik, “in Kreminna and Svatove there is a very difficult situation due to the proximity of the line of contact and the fact that all kinds of ammunition from (the Armed Forces of Ukraine) can reach us.” .
The legitimate governor of Lugansk, Serhiy Gaidai, affirmed today for his part that “in the direction of Kreminna, the Russians are trying to break through our defenses.”
He also stressed that the Kremlin forces “are preparing to intensify the offensive.”
“The accumulation of equipment is large and the number of soldiers is increasing,” he warned.