Ukrainian-held Mala Tokmachka, located in the Zaporizhzhia region just over a mile (2 km) from Russian-held territory, has been rendered ghostly and battered by shelling, leaving the school’s front ripped off and the centre plaza pockmarked. Fallen pine cones are mixed up with shrapnel.
The blasts had recently increased, according to Raisa, a local lady who was bicycling past several Ukrainian soldiers. She also reported hearing small weapons fire coming from the neighbouring highway.
Polohy, a town Russian invaders declared they would leave on Friday, is only 9 miles (15 km) away. According to local accounts, the evacuation process began over the weekend, albeit some Russian soldiers appear to be still stationed there.
The Ukrainian spring counteroffensive centres on the town. Although Kyiv has stated it won’t disclose its start in order to maximise surprise, recent claims regarding attacks by Russian authorities in seized territories have shown at least its initial stages are probably begun. Over a dozen frontline communities, including Polohy, would be depopulated, the occupying army stated on Friday.
According to Ukrainian sources, Russian forces are being moved to the severely damaged city of Mariupol while people are being sent to the seaside town of Berdyansk as cover for the withdrawal of Russian troops.
It is yet unknown how these evacuations, which on Sunday were said to have involved 1,600 individuals by Russian occupation officials, would affect Moscow’s capacity to hold frontline towns. However, it is a potential hint of weakness, and during previous Ukrainian offensives, Russian fortifications have abruptly crumbled even as their spokespeople articulated their proclaimed defence. These widespread withdrawals, at best, are Russian troops’ admission that they are going to face a tough battle.
Russian forces are being moved to the severely damaged city of Mariupol while people are being sent to the seaside town of Berdyansk as cover for the withdrawal of Russian troops.
Additionally, the refugees are being pushed all the way to the shore, reflecting the battleground. Satellite images show that Russia has constructed a significant line of defences along its southern front in the Zaporizhzhia area.
There are rumours of some continued defences behind this line of trenches and concrete, but they are not at a level that would indicate Russia can afford to lose this initial frontline. Once Ukraine’s well-planned onslaught has crossed this initial line, Moscow runs the danger of finding Kyiv’s march to the coast to be much simpler.
That might prove terrible for Putin’s strategic control over the land corridor that passes through Zaporizhzhia and links the Crimean Peninsula to the remainder of seized Ukraine and the Russian mainland.
Russia’s Intense Response
The possibility of Russian forces being firmly driven back cannot arrive soon enough in the city of Orikihv, which is now held by the Ukrainians and is one of the last significant population centres before this frontline. The horizon is constantly occupied by an artillery battle, as well as by sporadic mushroom clouds caused by massive, frequently imprecise Russian aircraft.
On Thursday, four strikes were made, demolishing two civilian homes while obliterating any building that may have been considered a target. On Sunday morning, a CNN crew saw a plane flying overhead launch two missiles, one of which, according to Ukrainian officials, was a $500,000 Kh31-P and hit the town from 700 yards away. The missile left a 10-foot-deep hole in a vacant plot of ground in the middle of the city, seemingly missing any prospective targets.
Moscow’s wrath continues to smash Orikhiv as Ukrainian military pressure mounts. The shelling, which appears to occur at random times and places, no longer appears to follow any pattern, according to the town’s rescue squad. Rescuer Dmytro Haydar spoke about the fine line his group has to walk between reacting fast to strikes and getting ensnared in the routine ‘double-tap’ follow-up assaults that Russian planes frequently launch to kill first responders and survivors.
The leader of the squad, Andrew Grygorenko, said that he was stranded at the beginning of the conflict in Russian-occupied Polohy, where he resided and performed rescue operations. He and his crew were compelled to continue working by the Russians. According to Grygorenko, his guys were able to escape one by one. When a local occupation official failed to show up for work one day, he drove a minibus of civilians out of the area to avoid their strict surveillance of his movements.
A Year of Conflict
On February 24, 2022, before dawn, Moscow launched hundreds of missile strikes on Ukrainian cities.
Russian ground forces entered the country fast and took over a sizable portion of Ukraine within a few weeks.
They had reached the outskirts of Kyiv and were in complete control of Sumy and the majority of the country’s northeast.
Putin’s army encircled the port city of Mariupol while shelling Kharkiv and capturing land as far as Kherson in the east and south.
However, they encountered fierce Ukrainian opposition practically everywhere and had significant logistical challenges because to the badly motivated Russian forces who were experiencing a lack of food, water, and ammunition.
The Nlaw anti-tank system, which the Ukrainian troops quickly deployed after receiving it from the West.
After more Western weapons were added, the situation drastically shifted by October. After failing to capture Kiev, Moscow withdrew entirely from the north.
Pushing Moscow away from Kharkiv and launching a counterattack around Kherson, Ukraine achieved its first significant victory.
One year after the invasion, Ukraine controls Kherson and has, for the time being, largely stopped Russia’s progress in the east.
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