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Military: Fall of Chasiv Yar would open Russia's way to 'last strongholds' in Donetsk Oblast

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 16, 2024 11:58 PM 2 min read
Smoke rising near the town of Chasiv Yar, Donetsk Oblast, on April 11, 2024. (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images)
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If Russian forces capture besieged Chasiv Yar, it will enable them to launch offensives against other cities of Donetsk Oblast, the Khortytsia Group of Forces' spokesperson, Nazar Voloshyn, told Politico in a comment published on April 16.

Russia ramped up its offensive on Chasiv Yar after capturing Avdiivka, which lies about 50 kilometers (31 miles) southward, and its tempo of advance declined in early March. About 800 people remain in Chasiv Yar, according to local authorities.

"If the Russian occupiers manage to capture this city, they will have the opportunity to launch an offensive on Kostiantynivka, Druzhkivka, Kramatorsk, and Sloviansk," Voloshyn told Politico.

"These cities are the last stronghold of Donetsk region, which is under the control of Ukraine."

Voloshyn went on to explain that Chasiv Yar is the "dominant height in the region, and its control will allow the Russian invaders" to push forward to other cities of Donetsk Oblast.

According to the spokesperson, the Kremlin wants to see Chasiv Yar captured before May 9 – the day when Russia celebrates victory in World War II – for propaganda purposes.

On April 5, Moscow's proxies claimed that Russian troops had entered Chasiv Yar's suburb, but Ukraine's military later refuted that statement.

Russia prepares for a major offensive in Ukraine, eyes Chasiv Yar
Since March, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said more than once that Ukraine is expecting a major Russian offensive that could start in May or June. Ukrainian experts and military officials now say it might begin even sooner. All eyes are currently on the Bakhmut axis as Russian troops gradually…
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