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Why Chasov Yar's Fall Could Become Turning Point in Ukraine Conflict

© AFP 2023 / Iryna RybakovaUkrainian soldiers look out with a self-propelled howitzer in Chasov Yar. File photo
Ukrainian soldiers look out with a self-propelled howitzer in Chasov Yar. File photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.05.2024
The town of Chasov Yar is of political, military and logistical significance to both Russian and Ukrainian troops, experts told Sputnik.
It is just a matter of time before Russian forces take the strategic town of Chasov Yar, Deputy Head of Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate Vadim Skibitsky told The Economist.
"Not today and not tomorrow, of course, but everything will depend on our reserves and supplies," he added, in a nod to the looming scenario of Russian troops entering the town.
Russian fighters receiving combat training in Russia's special op zone - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.04.2024
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Why Chasov Yar's Liberation is Critical to Oust Ukrainian Military From Donbass
Chasov Yar is of paramount importance to both Russian and Ukrainian forces because the town has political, military and logistical significance, military expert and Hero of Russia Rustem Klupov told Sputnik.

"Militarily, the town remains one of the key points of defense, which added to logistical and technical support for the Ukrainian battle group acting in this area," Skibitsky said, also touting Chasov Yar’s advantageous topographical position.

When it comes to political importance, Russian troops capturing Chasov Yar – which was earlier described by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as "an impenetrable fortress" - will be a new moral and psychological blow to the Ukrainian troops, whose fighting spirit is already in shambles, according to Skibitsky.
He added that, "the main thing now is to turn the Russian offensive into a chain reaction with constant attacks, pressure, and actions." Per Skibitsky, "the collapse of some elements of [Ukraine's] defense, for example logistics support, will contribute to the collapse of [Kiev forces’] defense at the frontline."
He was echoed by military expert Oleg Glazunov, an associate professor of the Department of Political Analysis and Socio-Psychological Processes of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, who called Chasov Yar "a key and direct road first to the city of Konstantinovka, and then to the cities of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk."

"When Donetsk became the capital of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Kramatorsk turned into the capital of the Donetsk region (on the part of Ukraine)[proxy]. Namely, in fact, the fall of Chasov Yar is like the Battle of Kursk [in WWII]. The [proxy] war [with NATO] continues but the Ukrainian Army will further continue to retreat, and Donbass is lost to it, which is why the fall of Chasov Yar is a turning point," of the Ukraine conflict, Glazunov pointed out.

Russian servicemen fire a BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher towards Ukrainian positions in the course of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, at the unknown location in the Donetsk People's Republic, Russia. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.03.2024
Why Russian Gains in Chasov Yar in Donetsk Region Are Significant?
His comments come after the Associated Press news agency cited an unnamed Ukrainian serviceman as saying that in mid-March, over 100 soldiers from Ukraine’s 67th brigade were killed amid Russia’s advance on Chasov Yar.

"We lost department commanders, platoon commanders, company commanders and sergeants. That is, we lost the entire skeleton of the brigade" at the time, the serviceman added.

The Russian Telegram news channel Voenny Obozrevatel (Military Commentator) earlier reported that an Azov* assault brigade subverted an instruction by Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Oleksandr Syrsky to send them to Chasov Yar in an attempt to hold the town in the face of the Russian offensive.
The order was sabotaged because brigade commanders reportedly considered Chasov Yar to be lost to the Ukrainian military, according to the report.
*Terrorist organization banned in Russia.
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