Russia breaks havoc; 23 settlements bombarded in Donbas

UKRAINE RUSSIA CONFLICT 7 1652050857778 1652667906042
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In Donbas, Russia has shelled 23 settlements.
The 82nd day of the battle between the two countries has arrived. According to Ukrainian military reports, Russian troops have destroyed or damaged 23 communities in the Donbas region.

As the Russia Ukraine war continues for its 82nd day, NATO secretary general said that Russia’s war in Ukraine is “not going to plan” and that its attempt to capture the eastern Donbas region has “stalled”.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian military has said that Russian troops have destroyed and damaged 23 settlements in Donbas, as reported by the Kyiv Independent.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Sunday on the sidelines of NATO Foreign Ministerial meet in Berlin. The two leaders discussed security and economic assistance for Kyiv.

The fighting between the two countries has led several people to flee the war-torn country.

Thousands of people have been killed in the war and several others have been injured.

As the Russia-Ukraine conflict enters its 82nd day, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that Russia’s campaign in Ukraine is “not proceeding according to plan” and that its attempt to take the eastern Donbas region has “stalled.”

According to the Kyiv Independent, the Ukrainian military has claimed that Russian troops have destroyed or damaged 23 communities in Donbas.

On the sidelines of the NATO Foreign Ministerial meeting in Berlin on Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

The two presidents talked on Kyiv’s security and economic support.

Several people have fled the war-torn country as a result of the hostilities between the two countries.

Thousands of people have died and many more have been injured as a result of the fighting.

The notion that Ukraine stands resolutely united in opposition to Russia’s invasion may hold true for much for the country.
But here in the Donbas, there is a large ethnic-Russian minority, a painful history of eight years of separatist conflict with Russian-backed militias and – particularly for an older generation – a powerful nostalgia for the USSR.

The result is an increasingly fraught clash of loyalties, with at least some residents of Bakhmut – a key hub for people fleeing from the Luhansk region further east – unashamedly supportive of the latest Russian invasion.

“Putin is a clever guy, a clever KGB man,” said an 80-year-old retired engineer, as she sat in the kitchen of a local cafeteria peeling potatoes. If Russians seized the town, it would “make no difference to me,” she whispered, before falling quiet when a colleague came into the room.

“I’m a creation of the Soviet Union. We all lived together in those days and I have relatives everywhere. I’m not going to tell you what I think of Putin,” said another elderly ethnic-Russian woman who was part of the work group preparing to plant rows of young trees at the entrance to Bakhmut.

Some Ukrainians here have brushed aside these pro-Russian comments as the harmless grumblings of an out-of-touch generation – of a handful of elderly pensioners who are reluctant to leave their homes, and whose opinions are unlikely to have any significant impact on the course of this war.

But in other parts of Ukraine, recently liberated from Russian occupation, there is evidence that collaborators may have actively assisted the Kremlin’s troops. And today, in front-line towns like Bakhmut, there are concerns that pro-Russian sentiment could pose a real risk, particularly if it is shared by officials in local administrations.

Bakhmut is part of Ukraine. Our job is to protect daily life here, to keep doing our jobs and not collapse into hysterics. No doubt there are [collaborators] here, but it is up to the security services to root them out,” said Sutkovyi.

While most families in Bakhmut have already left the town, following official advice, there are plenty of local volunteers, in uniform, who have stayed on to fight any Russian attack.

“We’ll defend this place to the death,” said one farmer, Slava, who joined the home guard and was busy loading supplies into his car to take to colleagues manning trenches on the edge of town.

But with air raid sirens wailing across the town, Russian forces poised to take full control of Popasna, 30km (19 miles) to the east – and the Russians also pushing forwards from the north and the southeast – it is no surprise that old suspicions and new tensions are surging here.

“Karma will quickly catch up with them,” said Svetlana Kravchenko, 57, of anyone in Bakhmut who supported the Russian offensive.

She helps run a small charity collecting food and other supplies to distribute to the town’s soldiers and to elderly civilians in the surrounding villages. Their basement office is also home to a Ukrainian Orthodox Church, where she and others pray daily.

Most of the more traditional churches in Bakhmut are still officially linked to the Russian Orthodox church, whose leadership has publicly endorsed President Putin’s invasion.

“Everyone makes their own choice. And they will have to answer for that. Maybe some people here want to surrender [to the Russians].

But when this conflict is over, when the shelling and shooting stops, then the traitors will be punished, either in this world or the next,” said Kravchenko.

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