Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Russia advances in eastern Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine ( Associated Press) — Russian forces have “destroyed” Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said, as Kiev’s military launched missile, shell and aircraft strikes on parts of the country on Saturday. Was informed. After months of resistance.

The latest battles in Russia’s nine-and-a-half-month war in Ukraine have focused on four provinces that Russian President Vladimir Putin triumphantly – and illegally – annexed in late September. The fighting highlights Russia’s problems in gaining control of those territories and Kiev’s persistence in regaining them.

Zelensky said the situation “remains very difficult” in several border towns in the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk. Together they make up the Donbass, a vast industrial region on the Russian border that Putin has targeted since the start of the conflict and where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting government forces since 2014.

“Bakhmut, Soledar, Marinka, Kremina. There are no habitable places left on earth for a long time,” Zelensky said in his evening speech, referring to the cities that have not been damaged by shells and fires. Another town in the Donbas, Bakhmut, has been destroyed, which has been reduced to burnt ruins by the Russian army.”

Zelensky did not specify what he meant by “destroy”. Some buildings in the city are still standing and residents still roam its streets.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army reported missile operations, about 20 airstrikes and more than 60 shell attacks across the country between Friday and Saturday. Spokesman Oleksandr Shtupun said the most active fighting was in Bakhmut district, where more than 20 residential areas were attacked. It said Ukrainian forces repelled Russian attacks in Donetsk and Luhansk.

The Kremlin’s relentless offensive in eastern Ukraine captured almost the entire Luhansk province during the summer. According to Ukrainian analysts and officials, Donetsk did not suffer a similar fate and in recent weeks the Russian military has deployed men and resources around Bakhmut to try to encircle it.

Fighting over Bakhmut has intensified after Kiev troops recaptured the southern city of Kherson nearly a month ago, underscoring Putin’s desire to make visible gains after weeks of offensive.

The capture of Bakhmut would cut Ukraine’s supply lines and open a path for Russian forces to advance towards Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, two major Ukrainian strongholds in Donetsk. Russia has shelled Bakhmut for more than six months. The ground campaign intensified in July when his troops forced the Kievites to withdraw from Luhansk.

Nation World News Desk
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