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Chasiv Yar under threat of falling: What its loss will mean for Ukraine's forces

Chasiv Yar under threat of falling: What its loss will mean for Ukraine's forces Photo: Russia wants to capture Chasiv Yar by May 9, but the Ukrainian Armed Forces are trying to thwart the enemy's plan (Getty Images)

Russian forces continue their active advance towards Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region, hoping to capture it by May 9. The Defense Intelligence (DI) does not rule out that the loss of the city is a matter of time; however, Ukrainian fighters are trying their utmost to thwart the enemy's plans.

RBC-Ukraine has compiled a report on the threat to Chasiv Yar.

During the preparation of the material, interview with Vadym Skibitskyi, the representative of the Defense Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense, for The Economist, statements by Nazar Voloshyn, the spokesperson for the operational strategic grouping of troops Khortytsia, exclusive comments by military expert Petro Chernyk, and an interview with Oleksandr Pavliuk, the Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, for The Times were used.


What DI and Armed Forces of Ukraine say about the threat to the town

Vadym Skibitskyi, a representative of the Defense Intelligence, revealed in an interview with The Economist what the capture of Chasiv Yar would open up for Russia. Journalists quoted the major general as saying, "it's probably only a matter of time before the city falls, just like Avdiivka, which was bombed to the ground by the Russian army in February."

The source notes that the high observation post in the city of Chasiv Yar is a concern for Ukraine, as its loss opens the way to the last remaining major cities in the Donetsk region not yet occupied.

"Not today or tomorrow, of course, but all depending on our reserves and supplies," the DIU representative.

Alongside this statement, an interview with the Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Pavliuk, also appeared in the media, in which he told the Times about the threats to Chasiv Yar. According to him, the Russian army wants to capture the city by Victory Day on May 9.

As the news agency notes, Pavlyuk is confident that this should not happen, but he acknowledges that the winter delay in providing American aid to Ukraine has had a severe impact on the situation.

"We are trying to do everything possible to prevent the Russian plan to capture Chasiv Yar by May 9. But the Russians have an advantage here in artillery and complete air superiority at a ratio of 10 to 1. We hope that American weapons will help us. If the package had arrived on time, we would not have lost the territory we have lost in the last few months," Pavliuk explains.

Operational strategic grouping of troops Khortytsia on battles and the goal of the Russian army

Yesterday, local authorities reported that the combat operations had essentially reached Chasiv Yar and were approaching its outskirts. However, according to the spokesperson for the operational-strategic grouping of forces Khortytsia, Lieutenant Colonel Nazar Voloshyn, there are no enemy forces in the town itself, and the Ukrainian Defense Forces control the situation.

"The situation on the Chasiv Yar direction is as follows: the enemy does not give up attempts, presses on this direction, fulfilling certain deadlines," Voloshyn explained.

According to him, the RF army is trying to bypass the city through flanking maneuvers - through the settlements of Bohdanivka and Ivanivske. Therefore, they are actively storming these villages in order to gain control over Chasiv Yar.

"They are not succeeding. Meat grinder assaults continue," Voloshyn said, adding that the enemy is completing its regrouping in this direction and introducing additional assault groups.

As for the enemy's goal, according to the operational-strategic grouping of forces Khortytsia, the Russian army is trying to capture the heights where Chasiv Yar and its outskirts are located, in order to further fight for territories and shell Kostiantynivka, Druzhkivka, Sloviansk, and Kramatorsk from there.

Chasiv Yar under threat of falling: What its loss will mean for Ukraine's forces

Photo: Russian troops conduct meat grinder assaults near Chasiv Yar (

What temporary loss of the town would mean

Military expert Petro Chernyk says in a comment to RBC-Ukraine that it's not about the threat of the city falling, but rather about a possible tactical withdrawal, which is crucial to distinguish.

"The situation is hot and difficult. Because on the eve of Putin's inauguration and his victory frenzy, some results are needed. Do they have the strength and means to accomplish the task by May 7? In my opinion, they don't. Will they try to solve this issue at any cost, as was the case with Avdiivka? They will. Will the opponent increase its numerical potential? It will. As 14 new mechanized divisions were announced to form, 16 new brigades were announced to form, and 2 general-purpose armies were announced to form," he told RBC-Ukraine.

According to the expert, Russian forces will try to increase their personnel to 300,000 by fall, as they need to raise mobilization figures to 60,000 per month. However, it is not yet happening. Russia is working on a replacement basis, losing up to 30,000 per month. And so it has been since the beginning of the war.

"So far, there's no evidence that these processes are increasing," the interlocutor noted.

According to him, in the event of a tactical withdrawal of the Ukrainian Defense Forces from Chasiv Yar, there will be no catastrophe. Because "as soon as a large amount of high-quality, reliable weapons appears, we will definitely fend off our territory."

"For the enemy, everything is clear. The goal is to reach the administrative borders of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Whether they will succeed - no one knows. But they will try. For us, it all depends on how much high-quality weaponry we receive and how quickly," Chernyk added.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) recently reported that Russian forces pose a real threat to capturing Chasiv Yar. According to analysts, the occupation of the town would allow Russia to launch further offensive operations against cities that form a significant defensive belt for Ukraine in the Donetsk region.

Earlier, Toomas Väli, Deputy Chief of Operations at the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) General Staff expressed confidence that the Russian army would not succeed in achieving the goal of capturing Chasiv Yar by May 9.