Sunday, 29 May 2022 14:16

Zelensky Signals Donbas Could Soon Fall: "Indescribably Difficult" Russian Onslaught

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Zelensky Signals Donbas Could Soon Fall: "Indescribably Difficult" Russian Onslaught

In a Saturday night speech Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave his most dire assessment to date of the status of Ukraine forces in the eastern Donbas region, where for over at least the last two months Russia has concentrated its forces, following the Feb.24 invasion of the country. Saturday marked the 95th day of the conflict.

He described conditions there as "indescribably difficult" in what marks a notably pessimistic shift and negative tone for the Ukrainian leader, strongly suggesting the fall of Donbas - or at least whole regions such as Luhansk - could be imminent. He identified several intense ongoing battles in places with a large Russian force presence, including Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Bakhmut and Popasna. Sievierodonets in particular is scene of fierce up-close street battles.

"But our defense holds on," Zelensky sought to assure the public. "It’s indescribably difficult there. And I am grateful to all those who withstand this onslaught of the occupiers."

Image: NBC News

As the AP describes of some instances of "close-quarter combat":

Ukrainian regional officials reported that Russian forces were "storming" Sievierodonetsk after trying unsuccessfully to encircle the city. The fighting knocked out power and cellphone service, and a humanitarian relief center could not operate because of the danger, the mayor said.

Zelensky in the address also denounced what he called "absolutely senseless, openly barbaric strikes at the Sumy region," which left at least one person dead and seven wounded and two in critical condition, saying further mortars struck close to a kindergarten.

"These are the enemies chosen by the Russian Federation," he added. With this, he again called on the West and...

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