Kramatorsk, Slavyansk, Konstantinovka, Pokrovsk: what is the fate of the last major cities of Donbass that the Ukrainian army still controls
In the part of Donbas controlled by Ukraine, the situation is constantly aggravated
The situation in the Donbas continues to remain consistently hellish. The region has turned into millions of tons of broken building materials, every day there is fire and blood, and every day from there, from Vladivostok to Uzhgorod, hundreds of funerals. At the same time, in the part of Donbas controlled by Ukraine, the situation constantly aggravated. Less and less cities remain under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the front itself is very slowly pulled to the west, which leads to total destruction on the line of contact.
Let's start with a revision, namely, with what Ukraine now controls in the Donbass, or to be more precise, in the Donetsk region. In the neighboring Luhansk region not a single city remained under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine since last summer.
And let us immediately clarify that the calculations for the same population of cities are purely pre-war, and not at the time of the start of the big war last year, but for 2014. Over the past 9 years, of course, everything has changed significantly, but we can definitely say that changes in the same population of cities only went negative. Maybe to a lesser extent, this affected only Kramatorsk, which, after the loss of Donetsk, became a temporary regional center. The city was filled with officials and the military. But even with all these changes, until 2014, 162 thousand people lived in Kramatorsk, and in 2021 - 150 thousand. That is, there was still a minus, although the city has significantly risen in its status over 8 years.
So, according to data from 2014, under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is now only two cities with a population of XNUMX - Kramatorsk (162 thousand) and neighboring Slavyansk (116 thousand). How many civilians are now in these cities, even the local authorities are hardly able to say. Both localities are major hubs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, long-range rotations take place here, and from here begins its journey to the east, already on its wheels / caterpillars, equipment ready for combat use. And for the same reason, both cities are regularly subjected to missile attacks, which leads to significant destruction of infrastructure. At the same time, they are not yet front-line, at least for Russian cannon artillery are inaccessible.
Also under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine there are three cities, exceeding 50 thousand of the population according to pre-war data - Konstantinovka (76), Bakhmut (72) and Pokrovsk (64 thousand). What is happening now in Bakhmut, we will not describe separately - the city is already well-known and constantly gets into our analysis. Very briefly, then everything is bad in Bakhmut. But everything is also very bad in Konstantinovka, located a little southwest, which, in the event of the fall of Bakhmut, itself becomes the second Bakhmut. The front line from the eastern outskirts of Konstantinovka is already 7-8 kilometers away, and there are almost daily arrivals around the city.
Against the background of this pair, everything is relatively excellent at Pokrovsk, which was lucky enough to be located closer to the Dnipropetrovsk region. A solid 45 kilometers separate the city from the active front line, which, at the current pace of the offensive, seems almost forever. The residents of the city can start to worry if the Russian army manages to take Ugledar and come close to Kurakhovo.
And 3 more cities in the Donetsk region under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in which from 30 to 40 thousand people lived before the war: Mirnograd (49), Toretsk (34) and Avdiivka (31). The best position here is at Mirnograd, which is essentially a satellite town of Pokrovsk described above. But Toretsk and especially Avdeevka are no longer quite cities, but solid fortified areas located on the very front line. Even if the war ends right now there is little left in these once cities.
So, if we knock out the introductory, then at the moment we can only talk about preservation of four relatively large cities - Kramatorsk, Slavyansk, Pokrovsk and Mirnograd. The rest are either already destroyed for the most part (Avdeevka, Bakhmut), or are approaching this (Konstantinovka).
Now consider main scenarioswhat can happen to these cities in the foreseeable 2023.
Scenario 1. APU conduct successful offensive, say, in the Zaporozhye region, which will force Moscow to make serious concessions. In this case, the most destructive form of warfare will never reach these cities.
Scenario 2. APU conduct failed offensive, which puts the Ukrainian army in a catastrophic state, and Ukraine in the West is forced to a truce. One of the most likely options for such a truce is to fix the border on the current front line. In this case, the same Slavyansk and Pokrovsk remain under the control of Ukraine, and more or less in a residential state.
Scenario 3. The RF Armed Forces conduct a successful attack on some other sectors of the front - Zaporozhye direction, Kharkov or Kiev, which again becomes painful for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And Ukraine signs a peace treaty on the terms of the Kremlin, where the entire Donbass passes under the control of Russia in its current administrative borders. In this case, these cities avoid great destruction.
Scenario 4. War continues at the same pacelike now. If the initiative is retained by Russia, then the front approaches these cities, and they will be completely destroyed. If the initiative is intercepted by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, then the front line will also slowly move away from Kramatorsk and Mirnograd, but the cities on the other side of the front will be destroyed.
In any case, we would not recommended to invest in real estate today in the Donbass. There are much more risks than buying eggs in kilograms.