Russia aiming to capture Chasiv Yar by 9 May, Ukraine's military chief says

Russia’s next major goal in its war with Ukraine is to capture the Donetsk region city of Chasiv Yar by 9 May — the date it commemorates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II — Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said on Sunday.

Russian forces were “concentrating efforts to break through [Ukrainian] defences west of Bakhmut”, Syrskyi said, as they aimed to move towards the Siverskyi Donets-Donbas Canal and seize Chasiv Yar by Russia’s Victory Day holiday on 9 May.

Chasiv Yar is located 10 km to the west of the city of Bakhmut, which was captured by Russian troops in May after months of bloody battles. According to Donetsk region Governor Vadym Filashkin, just under 800 people remain in the frontline city, which had a pre-war population of over 12,000.

A man cycles ahead of a Ukrainian infantry vehicle in Chasiv Yar. Photo: EPA-EFE/OLEG PETRASYUK

A man cycles ahead of a Ukrainian infantry vehicle in Chasiv Yar. Photo: EPA-EFE/OLEG PETRASYUK

Russia’s ultimate goal in capturing Chasiv Yar was to “create conditions for further advancement towards the Kramatorsk agglomeration”, Syrskyi said. The city of Kramatorsk, around 25 km to the north of Chasiv Yar, has been the administrative centre of the Donetsk region since Russian-backed forces captured the regional capital Donetsk in 2014.

The Russian advance on Chasiv Yar was so far being “hindered by the heroic defence of [Ukrainian] brigades, who have literally dug into the ground, holding off daily enemy attacks”, Syrskyi continued.

Syrskyi’s comments on Russia’s plans to seize Chasiv Yar came just a day after he said that the situation on the frontline had “significantly deteriorated” over the past week, with Russia having “considerably” intensified its efforts in eastern Ukraine following Vladimir Putin’s re-election in March.

In his daily address on Sunday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the situation on the front line in the Donetsk region was “aggravating” and repeated his appeal to Ukraine’s Western partners to bolster the country’s air defences.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.