“Russian troops increase to 78 units and about 60,000 troops”… Eastern Kreminna, Russia in hand
Zelensky: “The situation in Mariupol is serious”… “Isolated steel mill evacuation of citizens, the international community asks for help”
US media: Biden government to announce additional military aid to Ukraine in days
(Seoul = Yonhap News) Reporter Jong-seok Yoon = Reporter Lee Ui-jin = The Russian army, which has changed its strategy to ‘concentrate firepower on Donbas’, is increasing its troops as it enters into a large-scale offensive in the southeastern region of Ukraine, the Associated Press reported on the 19th (local time). .
A senior U.S. Department of Defense official said that the number of tactical battalions (BTG) deployed by Russia, which launched a general offensive in Donbas, on the eastern and southern fronts of Ukraine, increased by two over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 78.
Before the attack on Donbas, the Russian army increased the number of existing 65 combat units to 76 by 11, but they are reinforcing their forces.
The Associated Press estimated that Russia’s military force would reach 55,000 to 62,000, based on the fact that the Russian combat unit consisted of 700 to 800 soldiers at the beginning of the war.
Russia has also sent 10,000 to 20,000 foreign mercenaries to the Donbas region, a European official told AFP news agency.
They consisted of fighters from Syria and Libya, including the Russian mercenary company Wagner Group, the official said.
It was observed that the mercenaries were mostly infantry troops without heavy weapons or armed vehicles.
On the same day, Russian troops attacked all parts of the front line in southeastern Ukraine.
In Kharkiv (Kharkov), the second city and the eastern center, Russian forces attacked civilian-inhabited areas, killing at least four and injuring three, the Associated Press reported.
A fierce battle also broke out in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Province, 160 km southeast of Kharkiv, killing many civilians, according to reports.
In Vashtanka, southern Mykolai, local authorities said on Facebook that Russian troops attacked a hospital, destroying an emergency room and leaving many wounded.
It is reported that the Russian army broke through resistance from Ukrainian forces on some fronts.
“Russian troops entered Kreminna and street fighting began,” Luhansk Governor Serhi Haidai said in a Facebook post.
Russia’s defense ministry claimed that high-precision missiles attacked 60 military installations in 13 Donbass on the same day.
The Associated Press reported, citing military experts, that Russia’s target appears to be the encirclement of Ukrainian forces in Donbas on three sides: east, south and north.
For this purpose, the Russian army has been focusing on the attack on the southeastern city of Mariupol.
Mariupol is strategically located between Donbas and Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014.
Recently, the Russian army has taken control of most of Mariupol, but the Ukrainian army, led by the Azou Regiment, is fighting with the Azoustal Works as a base.
It is estimated that about 2,500 Ukrainian troops are currently fighting the war at this steelworks.
The Russian military said on the same day that it had opened a humanitarian channel and offered to guarantee life to the Ukrainian forces in case of surrender and to treat them as prisoners of war according to the Geneva Conventions.
Russia had sent such ultimatums several times before, but the Ukrainian forces continued to engage.
“The situation in Mariupol is very difficult,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a telegram video address.
President Zelensky said that “Russian troops are blocking the rescue of civilians by building the Mariupolo humanitarian corridor”, accusing Russia of “attacking citizens” as the root of evil.
Major Serhi Bolina of Ukraine’s 36th Independent Marine Brigade asked CNN in a telephone interview to “help the third country to evacuate the soldiers and civilians trapped in the ironworks.”
“We don’t know how many days or hours are left,” he said.
British military intelligence said, “Russian forces are intensifying bombing and airstrikes along the Donbass Front, but Ukrainian forces are blocking the Russian offensive.”
The Russian army is struggling with the environmental, logistical, and technical problems experienced on other fronts, including the North, in the re-attack of Donbas, and the failure to occupy Mariupol means that the achievement of their goal may be delayed, the British military analyzed. did.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden and leaders of major Western countries held a video call on the same day to discuss additional aid to Ukraine and additional sanctions against Russia.
US media reported that Biden is expected to announce additional military aid to Ukraine in the coming days.
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2022/04/20 12:00 Send