Ukraine Update: Ukrainian Forces In The Donbas, Zelenskyy Provides Next Steps And Creates Food Organization

UKRAINE (May 24, 2022)— Ukraine’s president has given an insight into the level of losses being suffered by Ukrainian forces in the Donbas, saying between 50 to 100 Ukrainians could be dying every day.

While Ukraine and its allies have made much of Russian losses since the war began, the issue of Ukrainian casualties has been something of a black hole.

The heaviest fighting is focused around the twin cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk in Luhansk, one of the two provinces that make up the Donbas.

“Today, from 50 to 100 people could be killed here in the most complicated area, in the east of our country,” Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday evening.

Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Luhansk, said in a local television interview that Russia was using “scorched-earth” tactics in the region and that Severodonetsk had been attacked from “four separate directions”, though Russian forces had not succeeded in breaking into the city.

The Donbas has been the scene of recent heavy fighting involving intense shelling by both sides, with Zelenskiy’s remarks appearing to be a reference to fatalities in combat. The high recent death toll on the Ukrainian side also suggests an even larger number of non-fatal casualties.

Historically a ratio of one killed in action to three wounded was regarded as a rough rule of thumb for assessing casualties, although better field medical treatment and evacuation, not least for US forces in theatres such as Afghanistan and Iraq, resulted in a far higher survival rate from injuries that would once have caused deaths.

According to a policy briefing paper published by the Belfer Center in 2014: “The ratio of wounded to killed in battle has increased dramatically as a result of improvements in medical care in conflict zones. This shift is particularly relevant for technologically advanced countries such as the United States, which invest significant resources in military medicine.”

The new estimate came as Kyiv also revealed its worst military losses from a single attack of the Ukraine war on Monday, saying 87 people had been killed last week when Russian forces struck a barracks housing troops at a training base in the north.

The disclosure that scores had been killed in the attack demonstrated Russia’s ability to inflict huge losses, even far from the front. Previously, Kyiv had said eight people died in the 17 May strike on the barracks in the town of Desna.

“Today we completed work at Desna. In Desna, under the rubble, there were 87 casualties. Eighty-seven corpses,” Zelenskiy said during a speech made by video link to business leaders in Davos, Switzerland.

Moscow had said at the time that it hit a training base with long-range missiles. The toll Zelenskiy announced on Monday was more than double the number killed in a similar attack on a Ukrainian training base in Yaraviv in the west in March.

The updated death toll from Desna emerged following recent remarks by senior Ukrainian officials, including the president, that warned of increasing bloodshed in the next phase of the conflict, amid anticipation of a Ukrainian counteroffensive later in the summer.

Zelenskiy’s acknowledgment of the increasingly heavy toll on Ukraine’s military follows claims by the UK’s Ministry of Defence that since Russia invaded Ukraine, it has probably suffered a similar death toll to that experienced by the Soviet Union during its nine-year war in Afghanistan, although those claims could not be independently verified.

Like Ukraine, western allies including the UK have tended to emphasize Russian losses while avoiding the issue of Ukrainian losses as part of the information war with Moscow that appears in part aimed at trying to shift Russian public opinion against Putin’s invasion.

A combination of “poor low-level tactics, limited air cover, a lack of flexibility” and a command approach that is “prepared to reinforce failure and repeat mistakes” has led to the high Russian casualty rate, British intelligence said in its latest report released on Monday morning.

Casualties are continuing to rise in the Donbas offensive, the report added. “The Russian public has, in the past, proven sensitive to casualties suffered during wars of choice. As casualties suffered in Ukraine continue to rise they will become more apparent, and public dissatisfaction with the war and a willingness to voice it may grow.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has abruptly transformed the world. Millions of people have already fled. A new Iron Curtain is grinding into place. An economic war deepens, as the military conflict escalates, civilian casualties rise and evidence of horrific war crimes mounts.

President Zelenskyy Proposed To Create Organization of Food-Exporting States

Ukraine proposes to create an organization of food-exporting states which would serve as a tool to combat hunger on the planet. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Any response to the mass famine is overdue by definition. The famine should be stopped only preventively – when it has not yet begun. But now there is no such tool in the world. We propose to create an organization of responsible and democratic food-exporting states that can act with respect for human rights and global trade rules,” he said.

According to the Head of State, no matter what the turning points in history, humanity must have insurance against hunger.

“And Ukraine is ready to provide a platform for the activities of such a new organization – a definitely needed one,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted.

Answering the questions of the moderator – founder of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab, the President called on the international community to help Ukraine unblock ports to avoid the global food crisis.

“You should know that grain is partly stolen every day by the Russian military, and then exported by ship to certain countries. We need to react very quickly. We at the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs work with the embassies of such countries, because if you understand where this grain comes from, where the Russian Federation transports it from, how can you buy it illegitimately just because it is sold to you almost for free,” said the President.

He called on other democracies to help Ukraine fight such actions by the Russian Federation at the diplomatic level, as it will be difficult for our state to do so on its own.

During his speech, Volodymyr Zelenskyy also called for increased sanctions on Russia, without waiting for its next shot – the use of chemical, biological and, God forbid, nuclear weapons.

“Do not give the aggressor the impression that the world will not show enough resistance. Protect freedom and normal, useful for all peaceful order in the world immediately and in full! That’s what sanctions should be. Maximum. So that Russia and every other potential aggressor who wants to wage a brutal war against a neighbor knows exactly what this is leading to. And I think there are no such sanctions against Russia yet. And they must be imposed,” the President said.

In particular, according to him, there should be an embargo on Russian oil, a complete blockade of all Russian banks, abandonment of the Russian IT sector and the cessation of any trade with the aggressor.

The Head of State called on international companies to fully withdraw from the Russian market so that their brands, offices, accounts and commodities are not used by war criminals in their interests.

“Values must matter. Especially since everyone suffers losses when a full-scale war begins and global markets are destabilized due to someone’s neglect of values. For our part, we offer every company that leaves the Russian market to continue operating in Ukraine. You will get access not only to our market of 40 million consumers, but also to the common market of Europe. And at the same time, your brands, positions will only be enhanced due to the fact that you really support the protection of freedom,” the President noted.

According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the representatives of Ukraine in Davos are ready to inform about the details of the prospects that our country opens for business.

The Head of State also stressed that his proposals were aimed against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos.

“We must not be afraid to set new precedents. This is exactly what the world has long had to learn at various turning points, for which it paid a high price. This was the price for the fact that the world only reacted, not acted preventively. So, now we can do it differently. Finally in the right way,” the President concluded.

President presented awards to servicemen who have been conferred the title of Hero of Ukraine

Zelenskyy Addressed The Coming Weeks Of War

The coming weeks of the war will be difficult, yet we have no alternative but to fight and win – address by the President of Ukraine



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