Sunday, March 26, 2023

Bakhmut: Ukraine, Russia locked in brutal fighting in Bakhmut, casualties mount – Usky News

KYIV: Ukraine faced with continuous Russian attacks Bakhmut In its eastern Donetsk region, both sides reported mounting enemy casualties as they battled across a small river that bisects the ruined city, which now marks the front line.
president of ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky Said late Sunday that his forces had killed more than 1,100 Russian soldiers in the past few days as they fought for control of Bakhmut.
“In less than a week since March 6, we managed to kill more than 1,100 enemy soldiers in the Bakhmut sector alone, irreparable damage to Russia right there, near Bakhmut,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address.
Zelensky said Russian forces also sustained 1,500 “sanitation losses”, with soldiers too badly wounded to put them out of action.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said earlier in the day that its forces had killed more than 220 Ukrainian service members in the past 24 hours in the Donetsk direction.
Reuters could not independently verify reports from the battlefield and neither side gave details of their own casualties.
British intelligence said Ukraine’s forces controlled the west of the nearly deserted mining town of Bakhmut, while Russia’s Wagner mercenary group controlled most of the eastern side along the Bakhmutka River, which flows through the town.
wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin The situation in Bakhmut was “difficult, very difficult”.
Prigozhin said in an audio statement released by his press service, “The closer we are to the city center, the harder the fighting … The Ukrainians throw in endless reserves. But we are moving forward and we will move forward.” “
He also said that members of the Russian military helped his troops with ammunition.
“Yesterday, we received 15 trucks, today we received 12. And I think we will continue to receive them,” he said, adding that there had been no clashes between his fighters and Russian troops.
Prigozhin had earlier complained that Russia’s top officials were deliberately starving their men of ammunition, a charge dismissed by the Defense Ministry.
Prigozhin said that Wagner would “start to reboot” and begin hiring after Bakhmut was caught. His army has already opened recruitment centers in 42 cities to replenish its ranks.
waiting for tanks
While Bakhmut’s strategic value is debatable, Russia sees it as a step towards a key objective of the war – now in its second year – to seize Ukraine’s Donbass industrial region. The Donetsk and Luhansk regions make up the Donbass.
Ukraine decided to stay and fight at Bakhmut, after initial indications it was planning to withdraw, so that Russia’s best units could be crushed before a spring counter-offensive.
Analysts expect the Ukrainian counteroffensive to begin in April-May when the weather improves and more troop support arrives, including heavy Leopard and Challenger tanks.
Leonid Khoda, a veteran Ukrainian tank brigade commander who received the Hero of Ukraine award less than a month after Russia’s full-scale invasion, said Western tanks would significantly change the tactics of warfare.
Khoda said, “Everyone is waiting, the 1st Tank Brigade is also waiting. Some time ago we sent personnel to learn to operate the (Leopard) 2A6.”
Elsewhere, Russian shelling killed three civilians who were on their way to buy groceries in the southern city of Kherson on Saturday, Zelensky said, in what he called “brutal terrorist attacks” by pro-Moscow units.
Russia has denied targeting civilians.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, in an interview published on Sunday, urged Germany to speed up the supply of ammunition and to start training Ukrainian pilots on Western fighters.
Kuleba clarified that he did not expect the Western allies to deliver the fighter jets to Ukraine anytime soon, but said the pilots should be prepared to make the decision.
Separately, a senior EU official has said the EU may soon top up 3.5 billion euros ($3.7 billion) in funds used to buy weapons for Ukraine.
($1 = 0.9396 Euro)


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