Russia Reportedly Preparing New Offensive in Southern and Eastern Ukraine – On Tuesday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that while Ukraine has successfully taken back control of some western regions of the country, the conflict in the east is about to become more serious.
“Moscow is not giving up its ambitions in Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said. “We expect a further push in the eastern and southern Ukraine to try to take the entire Donbas and to create a land bridge” to the Crimea Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Russia-backed separatists in the Donbas have been fighting Ukrainian troops for the last eight years.
Stoltenberg also reaffirmed NATO’s support of Ukraine, saying that allies will continue to provide assistance in the way of supplies, aid, military equipment, and ammunition.
On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that the Russian forces had “reserves to increase pressure in the east” and added that Ukraine is strengthening its defenses in the region – particularly in Donbas – where the fighting is expected to escalate.
Donetsk Governor Tells Residents to Evacuate
As Russian troops head to the eastern regions of Ukraine, highways are congested, military checkpoints are overwhelmed, and citizens flooding to leave and find safety.
After witnessing the horrors of Bucha, where Russian forces deny allegations of torture and mass murder, citizens were quick to heed the warning of Donetsk governor Pavlo Kyrylenko this week who said that people should leave.
“We are firmly in control of all the territory… but the situation everywhere is tense,” the governor told journalists. “The most difficult situation is in the direction of Lyyum where we expect the situation to escalate.”
“I’ve said it before and I will say it again: the civilian population needs to leave the area now,” Kyrylenko also said, adding that the Russians are “bombing everywhere.”
The Donetsk governor said that 700,000 Ukrainian citizens remain in the Ukrainian-controlled region, but that 146,000 people had left the region and fled for safety by Sunday.
Sky News reported how lines as long as three kilometers could be seen heading into the city of Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, where people were desperately trying to catch trains out of the area.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.