Ukraine: Retired US Commander’s advice to Zelensky
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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has multiplied “urgent” calls for military aid and foreign forces as Russia’s forces are making inroads into Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. The East has become Vladimir Putin’s focal point of attention as he failed in his invasion of the North and West of Ukraine in the first phases of the war. Now, the strategic eastern city of Severodonetsk seems on the brink of falling under Russian forces’ occupation after weeks of heavy fighting that President Zelensky described in a nightly address as “one of the most brutal battles in Europe and for Europe.” Since the war started in late February, Zelensky has often put the blame on the lack of military artillery and Ukrainian forces for Russian forces’ advances. But to Retired US Air Force Special Operations Commander Glenn Ignazio, President Zelensky should take a better look at the wealth of resources available in Ukraine.
Speaking to News Nation, Commander Glenn Ignazio said: “One of the things, that I think, is of interest is that Ukrainians need to focus on – and there’s a little bit of unawareness, they are unaware of what’s happening here in the United States – is Zelensky has to do a little housekeeping himself.
“There’s a lot of support going in and a lot of weapons and so forth. And there’s a lot of calls for aid of other foreign fighters to go in and help.
“One of the things that I saw there – and it disturbed a lot of us and I have to say, I completely support the Ukrainians – but there’s a lot of military-aged males that are sitting on the borders, especially in Lviv, in other areas, Odesa, Kyiv.”
Commander Ignazio said: “And when Zelensky closes the border for them not to be able to leave, that’s true. But they haven’t been drafted, they haven’t been utilised. And there’s thousands of troops, thousands of citizens that Zelensky could use in his military and beef them up because we are seeing a hit to their morale in the East.”
As fighting continues in the strategic city of Severodonetsk, Ukrainian authorities continue to evacuate civilians. Russian forces have destroyed the three bridges connecting Severodonetsk with its twin city Lysychansk, preventing some evacuations.
“The bridges made it possible to carry at least some humanitarian cargo, something related to reserves. It is currently impossible to use the bridges,” said Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk region military administration.”
In a news statement, Russia’ Ministry of Defence called on Ukrainian forces to lay down their arms in Severodonetsk and “stop their senseless resistance and withdraw from the territory of Azot plan.”
The statement also says Russian is prepared to carry out a “humanitarian operation” on Wednesday between 8 am and 8 pm (Moscow time) to evacuate civilians from Azot to the Russian-occupied town of Svatove.
In a call for more weapons, President Zelensky said: “The human cost of this battle is very high for us. It is simply terrifying. The battle for the Donbas will, without doubt, be remembered in military history as one of the most violent battles in Europe.”
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