Hundreds of civilians who may be in the air raid shelters of the Azovstal factory will not be able to get out. Russian forces announced that they will observe a ceasefire today at 1 pm Dutch time to give the battalion personnel a chance to surrender. But they won’t, which means civilians are trapped there, too.
This is what the former commander of the ground forces Mart de Crieff said in Radio NOS 1 News† “This corridor will not be there anymore. The existing battalion has no future and they know it there too. They will fight there to the last man. This is horrible for civilians.”
Whether the Russians will actually break through lines in the Donbass will only be seen today or in the coming days, says de Crieff. “We know that if the Russians did that, it would be accompanied by brute force with a massive concentration of aircraft, tanks, and firepower.” Ukraine could then give up territory to try to accelerate the offensive and launch as many counterattacks as possible. “An anti-ship guerrilla tactic, that’s how you can see it.”
According to de Crieff, it is very clear that Putin wants to achieve his goals as quickly as possible. According to the former commander, providing more weapons to Ukraine will not make any difference for the time being. “What you can do is get the light weapons that the Ukrainians already know as quickly as possible. You have to familiarize yourself with all the new systems. It will take a few weeks or maybe months. This is for the next stage.”
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