The beleaguered government in Kiev scored a victory over the weekend when it retook the Russian-backed rebel stronghold of Slaviansk.
Slaviansk had been one of the most important pro-Moscow militant strongholds in Ukraine. The Ukrainian military has been trying to recapture the city for the past three months. Their success over the weekend marks a possible turning point in Kiev’s attempts at securing Ukraine’s territorial integrity, according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
But the Ukrainian military still has significant challenges ahead of it. Rebels that have fled Slaviansk are regrouping in the major industrial city of Donetsk, the first place where rebels declared themselves a “people’s republic” separate from the rest of Ukraine,.
When the Ukrainians first arrived in Slaviansk, there was a demand for basic necessities and the military was forced to provide food aide.
Soldiers also had their hands full confiscating weapons and military hardware from the separatists.
Although Slaviansk was a major victory, the Ukrainian military is continuing to deploy around the city in an effort to expand operations through the rest of the country’s east.
The rebels, for their part, are promising to give the Ukrainian government a “nasty surprise.”
In the past, the rebels have used shoulder-fired missiles to take down Ukrainian aircraft.
In the meantime, Slaviansk is under tight martial law as tanks remain on the streets …
… and Ukrainian soldiers are being further prepared to continue their push towards Donetsk.
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