How did the conflict move in the east of the country?

“The next few days may be the last chance to leave.” Message of the Governor of the Ukrainian Luhansk Region, sergey Gaïdaï, indicates the concern of Ukrainian officials. Having reached the Kyiv region in central Ukraine, the front gradually moved east, and the Ukrainian authorities feared a massive attack on the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

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These concerns are based in particular on the statements of Moscow, which, as of March 25, announced its intention to focus its offensive on the east of the country. Having failed to capture the Ukrainian capital, Russia nevertheless confirmed it “The main objectives of the first stage of the operation Owns has been filled”In the words of the deputy chief of staff of the Russian Federation. He adds that the Russian army was going now “To focus the bulk of efforts on the main goal: the liberation of Donbass.”

This region includes the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where conflict has already raged between government forces and pro-Russian separatists since 2014. Areas that Russia had not yet controlled before it refocused on the east of the country. According to Julian Theron, a researcher at Sciences Po Paris interviewed by franceinfo on March 26, “The Luhansk lands are almost entirely controlled by Russia, but this is not the case for the Donetsk region.”

This situation could change, as the Russian army is redeploying on a large scale towards eastern Ukraine. According to Agence France-Presse, quoting a senior Pentagon official, two-thirds of the Russian forces that occupied the Kyiv region since the start of the invasion withdrew to Belarus, in light of, he said, a new offensive elsewhere in Ukraine. “We see the equipment comes from different directions, they [les Russes] Bring men, let them bring fuel”Luhansk Governor Sergei Gaidai said in a video message broadcast on April 4.

Since then, Russian attacks have intensified. All free cities of the Luhansk region are under enemy fireand adds Sergey Gaidai. He said that the Russian bombing left one person, one wounded, and seven missing on April 6 in the town of Robyzhny. Five others were wounded in the bombing of a humanitarian center in Severodonetsk.

The Ukrainian army in Donbass is about to be captured in a pincer movement from the north and south by Russian forces, France Télévisions’ special envoys immediately explained. To limit their advance, Ukrainian anti-tank obstacles are multiplying on the strategic Krasnobyl road, in the Donetsk region, but in a few days it has already advanced seven kilometers. Near the Ukrainian city of Slovensk on permanent air alert.

To avoid new massacres of civilians, as happened in Bucha in the Kyiv region, the Ukrainian authorities several days ago called on the residents of these areas to leave for the west of the country. On Thursday, Sergei Gaidai announced the creation of humanitarian corridors for residents of seven eastern cities, including Severodonetsk. The police roamed the buildings, looking for residents to escort them under the crack of bullets. The eviction order appears to have been heard: The mayor of Dnipro, a city in the far west, announced on Thursday that ‘Too many people’ He arrived from the Donbass in recent days. But many residents chose to stay.

As attacks intensify, evacuations are becoming increasingly risky. According to Sergei Gaidai, the 1,200 evacuees on Wednesday were in the absence of any ceasefire. To the south, the humanitarian convoy organized by the Red Cross to Mariupol has already been postponed several times, mainly due to the lack of security guarantees. ‘We can’t help anymore’ Residents in the event of a Russian attack, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuk warned on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, April 6, the Director, Humanitarian Corridors Coordinator, recalled that“We must evacuate as long as this possibility exists. For now, it still exists”. With the advance of Russian troops in the Donbass, the situation could rapidly deteriorate.

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