The Russian advance to the south and east has reached its peak: Ukrainian cities are starving

Of Andrea Nicastro

Until the resistance of one of the encircled or nearly encircled large cities is broken, it is unlikely that Moscow will be able to order new advances. There is a shortage of troops, tanks, and even control of the sky is not so firm

from our correspondent
DNIPRO – SOn the South and East fronts, the Russian advance seems to have reached the maximum of its extent. Until the resistance of one of the great encircled or nearly encircled cities is broken, Moscow is unlikely to order new advances. There is a shortage of troops, tanks, and even control of the sky is not so firm. At dawn yesterday there
anti-aircraft guns from Dnipro shot down a missile aimed at the city,
a sign that perhaps some military aid from the West is beginning to arrive.

Completely surrounded, starving, Mariupol, the port city of Donbass. According to the calculations of the town hall there would be nearly six civilian deaths here every hour. Military casualties are kept secret. The figure updated yesterday of 1,600 casualties. Now the epicenter of the fighting in the eastern districts, behind the large steel factory which in recent years was grinding profits of over two billion a year. The slow Russian advance, entrusted to a constant air and artillery pounding. The goal, perhaps, is to avoid street fighting. It is to be hoped that the civilian population has left those neighborhoods, even if it is difficult to find free shelters.

The upper floors of the condominiums are the most dangerous, both for aerial bombs and for the firing of cannons. All the inhabitants of 4-6 floors must therefore gather in the basement. There is rarely room for others. After the looting of the shops, the barter, the collection of rainwater or snow to quench one’s thirst, according to sources Courier service, we arrived at the looting of the apartments or, the UN office for humanitarian coordination informs us, of attacks by those who are hungry.

The hospitals – says the local UN representative – are only partially functioning. Life-saving medicines are running out quickly, but even the emergency room is lacking food and water. A doctor from Doctors Without Borders who stayed in town talks about died from lack of care. Instead, the siege of Mykolaiv, the last city on the Black Sea before Odessa, is just beginning. Civilians were also trapped. Yesterday the bombs hit an oncology hospital. There is already talk of a lack of electricity and, as in Mariupol, heating. We are the border between the Russians and Western civilization, the mayor said.

To the east, the corridor that still connects Kharkiv to Dnipro could close overnight. The second city of the country would thus be isolated and the siege until stocks were exhausted could begin. A similar fate lies ahead for Mariupol, Mykolaiv and Kharkiv. A wiretapping carried out by the Kiev intelligence would prove that the Moscow troops near Kharkiv have received orders from the command to shoot civilians and children as well.

In the provinces theoretically under his control, Putin’s army now has the problem of maintaining order and perhaps gain political advantage. In Melitopol the inhabitants took to the streets to demand the release of the mayor arrested with a blitz that was more like a kidnapping. Give us back our mayor. Ukrainian melitopol. The troop dispersed the march with stun grenades and a charge that arrested one of the organizers.

In Kherson, however, the vice president of the regional council, Sergei Khlan, denounced that the Russians try to persuade local politicians to organize a secessionist referendum to create the Kherson People’s Republic, modeled on those of Lugansk and Donetsk. One more card to play at the negotiating table. The Kremlin claims to have both the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the operating Zaporizhzhia plant under control. In the first state, the electrical connection for the cooling of a slag deposit was restored. In the second, the Ukrainian technicians say they are subjected to great physical and moral stress from the Russian occupiers. Both plants would be safe.

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