Here is an update on the situation on the 88th day of the war based on information from AFP journalists on the spot, official Ukrainian and Russian statements, Western sources, analysts and international organizations.
Russian gains in the East
Russian forces havegain territory” in the Rubijne-Severodonetsk-Lyssychansk area and have “intensified their efforts to capture Severodonetsk“says the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). In particular, they destroyed a bridge between Lyssychansk and Severodonetsk, showing their desire to encircle the city, according to this American research center, for which Russian advances in the nearby town of Popasna were not “not possible to confirm“. Popasna is “clearly the new line of effortRussian, said Saturday the former French colonel Michel Goya.
The British Ministry of Defense underlined on Sunday the probable deployment in Severodonetsk of the only Russian company of BMP-T Terminator tanks, technologically advanced machines compared to the tanks destroyed by the hundreds by the Ukrainian troops these first three months of conflict. “With maximum Terminators deployed, they shouldn’t have a significant impact on the campaign“However, observed London.
“The Russians throw all their efforts to capture Severodonetsk” assured Saturday evening on Telegram the governor of Lugansk, Serguiï Gaïdaï.
Prolonged martial law and mobilization in Ukraine
Martial law and general mobilization in Ukraine were extended on Sunday by three months, until August 23. In two votes, the Ukrainian parliament, the Rada, on Sunday approved by an absolute majority the presidential decrees on martial law and general mobilization. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed these two decrees on February 24. They have already been extended twice for a period of one month.
15 or 20 years for Ukraine’s EU membership
Ukraine’s accession to the European Union will takeprobably 15 or 20 years old“, estimated Sunday Clément Beaune the French Minister Delegate for European Affairs, advocating that kyiv enter in the meantime into the European political community proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron. “In the meantime, we owe the Ukrainians (…) a political project in which they can enter“, continued Mr. Beaune, who notably described the European political community advanced by President Macron as “open door“.
Tens of thousands dead
There is no overall assessment of the civilian victims of the conflict. In Mariupol (southeast) alone, the Ukrainian authorities spoke of 20,000 deaths. And Ukrainian investigators claim to have identified “over 8,000 casessuspected of war crimes. On the military front, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense estimates Russian losses at more than 28,700 men, 204 planes and more than 1,200 tanks since the start of the invasion on February 24. The Kremlin admitted “significant losses”. Western sources mention up to 12,000 Russian soldiers killed. President Zelensky said about 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian troops were killed and some 10,000 wounded. No independent statistics are available.
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