War in Ukraine: Situation on the ground on day 74
Burst on February 24, 2022, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict continues to mark the news. Situation on the ground, international reactions, sanctions… Here is the point on this war which opposes Ukraine and Russia.
Across the front on the 74th day of the war, Russian efforts to snatch prestige successes before the symbolic date of May 9 appeared fruitless, experts said.
Here is an update on the situation based on information from AFP journalists on site, official Ukrainian and Russian statements, Western sources, analysts and international organizations.
– South –
The last Ukrainian fighters were entrenched on Sunday in the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, the last pocket of resistance in this strategic port on the Sea of Azov, after the evacuation of hundreds of civilians who had taken refuge with them for weeks in huge underground galleries.
“We have evacuated civilians from Azovstal,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday evening, citing the number of 300 exfiltrated people.
The Ukrainian general staff reported on Sunday “Russian assault operations” against the site, with “support from artillery and tank fire”.
– East –
In the Donbass coalfield, 60 people are missing after the aerial bombardment on Saturday of a school where they were taking refuge in the village of Bilogorivka, in the Lugansk region, indicated the regional governor, Sergiï Gaïdaï, affirming that they were “most likely dead”.
Strikes were reported on Saturday around Donetsk where four people were killed and nine injured, according to regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
“The enemy is not ceasing its offensive operations in the eastern operational zone in order to establish total control over the territory of the Donetsk, Lugansk and Kherson regions (south, editor’s note), and to maintain the land corridor between these territories and the Occupied Crimea” (south) since 2014, the Ukrainian general staff said on Sunday.
The general staff clarified that in the Donetsk region, Russian troops continued their offensive operations around Lyman, Popasnyansky, Severodonetsk and Avdiivka.
“Russian forces have claimed the capture of Popasna on May 7, but remain largely blocked in eastern Ukraine,” says the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
– The North –
By contrast, in Kharkiv, the Ukrainian counter-offensive to put Ukraine’s second city out of enemy artillery range continued to develop: it “is making significant progress and will probably advance to the Russian border within days.” or weeks to come,” according to the ISW.
“The Ukrainian counter-offensive is forcing Russian units scheduled for deployment elsewhere to redeploy to the Kharkiv front to stop Ukrainian attacks,” he added.
The Russian army destroyed three road bridges “to slow down the counter-offensive” in the region, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said on Saturday.
– Human losses –
There is no overall assessment of the civilian victims of the conflict. In Mariupol alone, the Ukrainian authorities spoke several weeks ago of 20,000 deaths. And Ukrainian investigators claim to have identified “more than 8,000 cases” of alleged war crimes.
On the military level, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense estimates Russian losses at more than 25,000 men, 199 planes and 1,130 tanks since the start of the offensive on February 24.
The Kremlin recently admitted “significant losses”. Some Western sources mention up to 12,000 Russian soldiers killed.
President Zelensky said around 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and some 10,000 injured.
No independent statistics are available.
– Displaced persons and refugees –
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 5.4 million Ukrainians have fled their country. Among them, 90% of women and children, men aged 18 to 60, likely to be mobilized, not having the right to leave.
More than 7.7 million Ukrainians have been internally displaced, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).