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Russia is not winning on all fronts

Russia does not have control over the entire Donetsk region

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Russian Army is somewhat advancing, but not on all fronts – mainly in the Donetsk region – while Russian Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, informs about taking over villages such as Bogdanovka, Novomihailovka and Pervomaiskoe, which is not much of a spectacular success for a superpower. Even today Russia does not have control over the entire Donetsk region (for example in Slavyansk, Kramatorsk etc.), not to mention the more ambitious plans such as the Odesa offensive – as this Facebook post is cheering. Russia is controlling approximately 17.5 percent of Ukraine, including Crimea and the so-called DPR and LPR, annexed back in 2014. For a superpower that is, apparently, “advancing successfully”, that is quite insignificant, and the situation has not changed for a long period, writes Truthmeter.

Under the content-sharing agreement between Truthmeter.mk and Meta.mk, we republish the text in full below:

A post on Facebook claims the following: 

EXCLUSIVE 

Russian Army is successfully advancing on all fronts. Ukrainians are pulling back everywhere. Odesa offensive will follow soon. 

The statement is not based on any fact. This is what the evidence says. The Russian Army is somewhat advancing, but not on all fronts – mainly in the Donetsk region – while Russian Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, informs about taking over villages such as Bogdanovka, Novomihailovka, and Pervomaiskoe, which is not much of a spectacular success for a superpower. 

This reminds us of the sensationalism recently applied to announce the occupation of Avdeevka, a town fifteen kilometers from Donetsk, whose takeover took 2 years (in fact, 10 years if we count from the beginning of the Donbas War and the attacks of the so-called DPR). That does not imply successful advancement under any definition. At such a pace, decades would be required for a complete victory. 

Supposedly, the town of Chasiv Yar was to be conquered on Victory Day – the 9th of May – to deliver some victory for the Russian public. Taking over this demolished town of 12 thousand inhabitants, out of whom only a few hundred have remained, is not presented as the so much missed success. 

Until now, Russia does not control the Donetsk region (including Slavyansk, Kramatorsk etc.), not to mention the more ambitious plans such as the Odesa offensive – as this Facebook post is cheering. However, relevant global media outlets do not offer predictions for such events, likely for the following reasons. 

Firstly, Russia proved incapable of conquering bigger cities. In the comprehensive invasion initiated on 24.2.2022, Russia managed to take over only one single regional center in Ukraine, Kherson, but lost it on 11.11.2022. Secondly, the geographical position – which is more to the side – is also a problem concerning Odesa. A naval attack is impossible because one-third of the Russian Black Sea Fleet is allegedly sunk or damaged. Having sunk the cruiser “Moscow” on 14.4.2022 and other similar incidents, it is dangerous for the Black Sea Fleet to reside in Ukrainian waters, so a large portion of it was even evacuated from Sevastopol to the Russian port Novorosiask. Taking Odesa by ground forces is also impossible because it would involve a long journey through the enemy’s territory. 

And finally, the Odesa offensive makes no sense when the war has moved to Russia itself for quite some time, especially with the Ukrainian bombing of Belgorod, thereby shifting the priority to the creation of a buffer zone to push the Ukrainians as far as possible so that their weapons will not have enough range to strike targets in Russia. 

In that respect, an offensive in the Kharkiv region would be more sensible, and analysts are already looking into that possibility. In 2022, Russian forces were defeated in the battle for Kharkiv, and although they managed to conquer a part of the region, they were soon driven away and now they want to go back. Advancement however is slow and only a few villages on the boundary line have been taken (for example Kislovka). But even that is under question, bearing in mind the frequently disseminated fake news by the Russians. 

And although Ukrainian forces are somewhat retreating, that does not imply everywhere – as the Facebook post claims. One should keep in mind that in the Kherson region and a good part of the Zaporizhzhia region, the front line is following the Dnieper River which represents a natural barrier preventing the Russian advancement or the Ukrainian troops retreat. That is yet another argument against the claim that “the Russian Army is successfully advancing on all fronts”. On the contrary, there were claims that Ukrainian forces had crossed the Dnieper River taking up positions on the other side. 

Russia holds only approximately 17.5% of Ukraine, including Crimea and the so-called DPR and LPR that separated back in 2014. There is very little progress for a superpower that is “successfully advancing, ” and the situation has not changed for a long time. 

Of course, the war is not over, and changes are possible. The situation now, however, does not correspond to that claimed in the post fact-checked. Hence, we conclude that the post is partially untrue. 

hubeng

 

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