Remember when Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelinsky said in early June that the war in the Donbas hinged on what happens to Severodonetsk?
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday the “fierce” battle for the city of Severodonetsk was probably one of the most difficult of the war, and its outcome will decide the fate of eastern Ukraine.
Why it matters: Severodonetsk is the last remaining major city in the Luhansk region of the Donbas under Ukrainian control.
Well, Ukraine ordered its forces to retreat and Russia has taken full control of Severodonetsk.
Severodonetsk Mayor Oleksandr Stryuk announced to Ukrainian television on Saturday afternoon that the Russians had taken control of the entire city.
This came two days after the announcement Ukrainian army He withdrew from the city, which had a population of 100,000 before the Russian military operation, with the aim of better defending its neighbor Lyschansk, according to AFP.
Sky News is reporting on the appalling Ukrainian losses. I am surprised by their candor:
If you can imagine losing 80% of the 82nd Airborne or 80% of Delta Force, then you can understand the horrible significance of these losses for Ukraine’s ability to field a competent fighting force. Reinforcing depleted units with untrained men is not a solution. Plugging untrained war bodies into formerly elite units does not translate into a force capable of fighting effectively. The art of unit war includes knowing how to maneuver under fire, how to set ambushes, how to establish fields of fires, how to communicate with headquarters and how to clean and maintain weapons in the midst of combat. Ukrainian men press ganged into the Ukrainian Army during the past 10 weeks cannot be trained in such a short period of time to master these skills.
Some die hard neo-cons continue to manifest their ignorance of military affairs by pointing to Russia’s slow progress in taking Severodonetsk as evidence of Russia’s incompetent, weak army. What they fail to understand is that Russia was trying to avoid killing the civilians still inside Severodonetsk, who were being used as human shields by the Ukrainians. Putin and the Russian commanders are placing a higher value on saving civilians rather than unleashing their full military might in order to show the world what they can really do. This is a remarkably mature military strategy.