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“Hell under the Russian flag”: Ukrainians recapture most of the occupied territories


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“Hell Under the Russian Flag”
Ukrainians recaptured most of the occupied territories

In the struggle against the invaders, Ukraine reaches a milestone. However, the situation is much worse in many parts of the country. Power supply is limited. In some places, according to President Zelensky, “there are no habitats that have not been damaged by bombs for a long time.”

The Ukrainian army has now recaptured more than half of the territory occupied since the Russian invasion on February 24. According to British calculations, Ukraine has so far recaptured 54 percent of the country occupied by Russia since February 24. Russia still controls 18 percent of Ukrainian territory, including Crimea, which was annexed in 2014, according to the British Ministry of Defense.

According to other observers, Ukraine has already reached 50 percent of the recapture of occupied territories in the past few weeks. The Ukrainian army has been on the offensive since spring. In doing so, they pushed the Russian army back from areas north and northeast of the capital, Kiev. In autumn, the Ukrainian armed forces first drove the Russian army behind their own lines in the Kharkiv region, and finally advanced and won a wide area in the Donbass. Finally, in October, Russia had to cede territory west of the Dnipro River in the Cherson region.

Despite the military successes, the situation in many parts of Ukraine is becoming increasingly difficult. With the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military brought “hell under the Russian flag” into the country, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky. The situation is “very difficult”, especially in the frontline areas of Donbass in eastern Ukraine, he said in his latest video address. Zelenskyj listed the focal points of Bakhmut, Soledar and Kremnina. “There is hardly any living space in these areas that has not been damaged by shells for a long time.” Also, the city of Pakmut was destroyed by the occupying forces. “It’s another Donbas city that the Russian army has turned into a charred ruin,” Zelensky said.

All power plants have been damaged

Selenskyj adviser Mykhailo Podoliak previously described the situation around Bakhmut as “hell on earth” from the Ukrainian perspective. Detached from what is happening on the front lines, Ukraine continues to work towards holding Russia legally responsible for the invasion and its consequences. “We are supported by states and international organizations and human rights institutions,” Zelenskyj said. Kiev has given Britain a leading role in efforts to create a special court modeled after the Nuremberg Tribunal.

Due to Russian attacks on the Ukrainian power grid, people can expect blackouts throughout the winter. Prime Minister Denis Schmihal said this in a cabinet meeting. Although the situation is now “under control”, there are still shortfalls in power supply due to the damage. “All the thermal and hydropower plants in the country have been damaged.” Additionally, about 40 percent of the high-voltage grid systems were damaged to varying degrees. “Therefore, power supply constraints are still significant in most regions.”

Russian missile strikes over the past few weeks have targeted Ukraine’s entire energy infrastructure. As a result, electricity was cut off in most parts of the country. Meanwhile, electricity can be supplied to people at least for hours.

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