JRL NEWSWATCH: “The battle of Donbas could prove decisive in Ukraine war” – AP

Ukraine Map Highlighting Donbas, adapted from image at defense.gov, with photo credit to Peggy Frierson, DOD

“…. Russia is pounding the Donbas … with relentless artillery and air raids, making slow but steady progress …. If Russia prevails in the … Donbas, it will mean … Ukraine loses not only land but perhaps the bulk of its most capable military forces, opening the way for Moscow to grab more territory and dictate … terms …. A Russian failure could lay the grounds for a Ukrainian counteroffensive [] and possibly … political upheaval for the Kremlin. Following botched early attempts … to capture Kyiv and … Kharkiv without proper planning and coordination, Russia turned its attention to the Donbas, [Ukraine’s industrial heartland,] a region of mines and factories where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting … since 2014. … Russia is treading more carefully … relying on longer-range bombardments ….”

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