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Putin Is Trying to Carpet Bomb His Way to Victory in Ukraine


Pentagon Admits Russian Troops Made “Some Small Progress” in Ukraine’s Donbas region – According to a senior Defense Department official, Russian forces in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine have made “minimal progress.” A statement published by the United States Department of Defense also said that Russian soldiers in the region are “suffering from poor command and control, low morale, and less than ideal logistics.”

Russian troops are not making the progress that they had been scheduled to make, according to the statement, and the only gains that have been made in the region in recent weeks are in the Ukrainian cities of Popasna and Izyum. 

Popasna is a city in the Luhansk Oblast and northeast of the flattened city of Mariupol. Currently a contested region, Russian soldiers are fighting to take full control of the area as part of their wider goal of annexing the Luhansk region entirely. Izyum is a city in the Kharkiv Oblast that sits on the Donets River and is currently under Russian control.

The same Pentagon official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also told reporters that Russia has launched over 2,100 missiles at targets in Ukraine since the invasion began on February 24.

Russian Soldiers Make Gains By Destroying Civilian Population Centers

Russian gains in these cities and surrounding suburbs appear to have been achieved through carpet bombing and the targeting of civilian population centers. 

Serhiy Hayday, the head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, said this week that Russian soldiers are “not just destroying Popasna” but “removing it from the map of the Luhansk region.”

Drone video footage shared online, recorded from a surveillance drone in Popasna, showed the city in a state of disrepair. Homes are destroyed, streets left barely recognizable, and entire communities ruined. The destruction was caused by Russian drone strikes, artillery, and rocket fire.

Russian artillery firing. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

The video footage was initially shared on a pro-Kremlin Telegram channel and is believed to have been recorded by the Russians. Artillery strikes can be seen hitting trenches in the city, with Ukrainian soldiers retreating into a shed. Russian soldiers then throw several grenades at the shots. The number of Ukrainian soldiers killed in the attacks in Popasna is not yet known. 

Despite the footage clearly showing the destruction of civilian population centers and private residences, the Kremlin continues to deny that Russian soldiers have targeted Ukrainian civilians. Some Kremlin officials have even suggested that Ukrainian soldiers may be responsible for attacking residential buildings themselves.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.


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