Ukrainian forces ward off assaults in and around besieged city, says military, while resupply routes become ‘increasingly limited’
Ukraine MP Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze has said tens of thousands of Ukrainian children could have disappeared, potentially deported to Russia in what she described as “genocide”.
She told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday:
We have about 13,000 cases that are confirmed that Ukrainian children have been deported to different parts of the Russian Federation.
However, we also have information about many more of those that are counted in tens of thousands. But we just do not have that the official kind of recording of those … and this is part of the genocide that the Russian Federation is conducting against Ukrainian nation.
Some of them [the children] have been going through the filtration camps with their parents where they were separated from the parents. Some of them have been taken to so called summer camps or vacation camps for a week from their parents and then never, never returned. And they were even some of them were even given already for adoption to Russian families, as if they didn’t have their own families back in Ukraine.
I think the the scope of these absolutely tragic activities that are being carried out by the Russian authorities will learn only after we will be able to liberate all the territories of Ukraine.
And that is something that those people who are suggesting peaceful territories do not understand: the suffering, the tragedies, the tortures, the abductions, deportations, you know, all the territories that are right now occupied by the Russian Federation…and we have to ensure that those people are liberated by the Ukrainian armed forces.
Unfortunately, the Russian Federation did not give up on the plans that they had with regard to Bakhmut. They are still pushing on that particular part of the Ukrainian territory. And I think the approach our military have been using there with holding on to that particular city is trying to deplete the Russian Federation’s army as they are suffering an incredible number of human losses and I assume that Ukrainian military management is also looking into possibility to withdraw the troops should the the losses of our armed forces become unbearable.
I think there’s every prospect that the Ukrainians can mount a successful counter offensive … late spring, early summer, and provided that’s planned properly and seen through and we continue to give them as much equipment and ammunition as they need, there is a chance of having some decisive outcome on the battlefield this year.
…I’m not alone in believing that a few decisive blows struck at certain points along that very extended front on the Russian army could well have the effect of breaking the morale of the Russian soldier and breaking the back of the Russian army.
You don’t have to defeat an army in detail everywhere on the battlefield. You’ve just got to convince enough soldiers that they’ve lost and when they think they’ve lost, they have lost.”
Strategically, it’s not very significant, but it’s achieved its aim of effectively being the anvil on which so many Russian lives have been broken, and therefore it makes complete sense for the Ukrainians now, to withdraw to a more defensible line and continue the battle there.
To be frank, I don’t think we’ve done enough. We need to do as much as we possibly can to ensure that this war is concluded this year.”
I’d like to think that if the counter-offensive by the Ukrainians is sufficiently well planned, supported and executed, that Putin won’t be in a position to do too much decision making himself that if his army crumbles and runs, that I think there’s quite likely that he’ll be swept out of the Kremlin as well.