Offensive du Donbass (2022)

Article

July 5, 2022

The 2022 Donbas Offensive is an ongoing military invasion organized by the Russian Armed Forces. It began on February 24, 2022 during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Background

In the fall of 2021, the war in Donbass, a region in southeastern Ukraine, has been bogged down since 2014-2015 with intermittent fighting. However, movements of Russian military forces and heavy weapons towards the Ukrainian border are denounced by Ukraine at the end of 2021. Numerous videos confirm this militarization. European and American leaders then estimate that between 100,000 and 175,000 Russian soldiers are amassed near the Ukrainian border and consider that these movements are a preparation of the Russian army for an invasion of Ukraine. On February 19, 2022, Russia reports an incursion from Ukraine after a suspected Ukrainian artillery shell landed in Russia's Rostov region near the Russian-Ukrainian border during the Russian-Ukrainian crisis in 2021-2022,. On February 21, 2022, the Russian government claims that Ukrainian shelling destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russian-Ukrainian border and killed five Ukrainian "saboteurs" who were trying to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denies involvement in both incidents and has decried false flag operations. The same day, in a speech preceding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin develops his vision of history denying the existence of a Ukrainian identity, modern Ukraine having in his eyes "been entirely created by the Russia, more precisely by Bolshevik and communist Russia. Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev successively shaped Ukraine by wresting parts of the historical territory from Russia”. He then evokes in this speech the "genocide" of the Russian-speaking populations of the Donbass, "the desire of Ukraine to acquire nuclear weapons", "the desire of NATO to integrate Ukraine into it, threatening the security of Russia. During this same speech, Vladimir Putin announced Russian recognition of the independence of the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. During the night, the Russian armed forces enter eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists, as part of a "peacekeeping" operation.

Procedure

February 24 Invasion

After Vladimir Putin announces a "special military operation" in Ukraine, Russian military forces cross the Russian-Ukrainian border and advance towards Kharkiv. They face Ukrainian resistance from the start of the Battle of Kharkiv. Meanwhile, in Konotop, Russian forces coming from the northeast surround the town and lay siege to it. In Sumy, fighting begins on the outskirts of the city around 3 am. The Battle of Sumy begins. Fighting between Ukrainians and Russians continues all day and into the evening. At 7:30 a.m. the fighting begins in Okhtyrka. Ukrainian forces put up fierce resistance and the Russians withdraw.

February 25

During the night the Russian forces withdraw from the town of Sumy. Fierce fighting continues in the northern suburbs of Kharkiv. On the morning of February 25, Russian forces advanced from the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) towards Mariupol. They clash with Ukrainian forces at Pavilopil. The Ukrainians were initially victorious, destroying at least 20 Russian tanks in the fighting before the Russian navy launched an amphibious assault 70 kilometers from Mariupol from the Sea of ​​Azov in the evening. In Starobilsk, the Ukrainian armed forces eliminate a group of Russian soldiers trying to cross the Aidar River during the battle.