The war in Ukraine entered its fourth month on Tuesday. Tenacious, determined and supported by the West, Ukrainian forces saved their capital at the end of March and cleared Kharkiv in May. But the Russian army still controls the south of the country, as well as part of the coastal fringe, and it has launched an assault on the east where, by President Zelensky’s own admission, the next few weeks will be difficult. The Russian occupiers are trying to show that they will not abandon the occupied areas of the Kharkiv region (north-east), that they will not return the Kherson region (south), the occupied territories of the Zaporizhia region (southeast) and Donbass (east). They are advancing somewhere; they are strengthening their positions elsewhere, he acknowledged on Monday evening. Objective: lock the Ukrainians in a pocket It is in the Donbass, the eastern part of Ukraine formed by the provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, that the situation is even critical. On Tuesday, the 30th Ukrainian brigade stationed in Svitlodarsk, on the border of the two provinces, retreated to avoid being taken in a pincer movement. Above all, Moscow is trying to encircle the towns of Sievierodonetsk and Lyssytchansk and to confine the Ukrainians there in a pocket. A Ukrainian tank on a road near Bakhmut. | REUTERS The Ukrainian Defense Ministry also reported heavy fighting near the towns of Lyman and Bakhmut, confirming the strategy of encirclement. This Tuesday, May 24, 2022, the Russians took up position on the road that connects Bakhmut to Lysytchansk, cutting off the supply route for the Ukrainian defenders of the pocket which is under intense bombardment. A little further north, the town of Lyman, another Ukrainian lock, would be in the process of falling. A conflict destined to last The future Russian double movement, south from Lyman and north from Bakhmut, if successful, will see the encirclement of some 5,000 Ukrainian soldiers and the total conquest of the province of Lugansk. Despite these tactical successes, optimism is moderate in the Russian camp. On Tuesday, senior Russian officials admitted that the conflict in Ukraine will last. We are not running after deadlines, said Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, noting that the goals set by the President (Vladimir Putin) will be met. It cannot be otherwise, the truth is on our side, he assured. War in Ukraine. After three months of fighting, Russia has the advantageEXPAND
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