Fierce fighting in Bakhmout, visit of the Russian Minister of Defense in the East

Spread the love

Fierce fighting in Bakhmout, visit of the Russian Minister of Defense in the East

Anatolii Stepanov Agence France-Presse The city of Bakhmout, now largely destroyed and largely emptied of its inhabitants, is currently the “epicenter” of the conflict.

The Russian Defense Minister has conducted an inspection in the conflict zone of eastern Ukraine, his ministry said on Saturday, as the battle for the symbolic city of Bakhmout rages.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that Sergei Shoigu inspected a forward command post in the “Donetsk-South” area during a visit “to the area of ​​the special military operation”, without specifying the exact location. , nor proximity to the frontline, nor the date of this visit.

The ministry released a video showing Mr. Shoigu traveling in a helicopter and then talking — without a helmet or battle dress — with a soldier in the same uniform, in front of damaged buildings, under the guard of a soldier.

The day before, the paramilitary group Wagner, which regularly accuses the Russian army command of not providing enough support, claimed to have “virtually surrounded” Bakhmout, in the Donetsk region, and called the president Volodymyr Zelensky sounding the withdrawal of his troops.

The battle for Bakhmout, an industrial city whose strategic importance is disputed, has been going on since the summer. The city has become a symbol, as it has been at the heart of the fighting between Russians and Ukrainians for months.

“Epicenter” of the conflict

“The situation in Bakhmout is difficult, but under control,” Ukrainian army spokesman Sergiy Tcherevaty told My-Ukraina TV channel on Saturday.

According to him, the city, now largely destroyed and largely emptied of its inhabitants, is currently the “epicenter” of the conflict.

In recent weeks, Russian forces have advanced, cutting off three of the four Ukrainian supply routes and making the position of the defenders increasingly precarious.

“Wagner's units have virtually surrounded Bakhmout, there is only one road left” to get out of it, Wagner boss Evgeny Prigozhin said on Friday in a video published by his press office.

Dressed in military gear and helmeted, Mr. Prigozhin called on Mr. Zelensky — who had sworn to defend Bakhmut “as long as possible” — to order Ukrainian troops to withdraw from the city.

On Saturday, the Ukrainian army headquarters said it had repelled more than 150 Russian assaults in the past 24 hours in this area.

The British Ministry of Defense stressed on Saturday that the army Russian regulars and the Wagner group had advanced on the northern outskirts of Bakhmout, a city that is now “vulnerable to attack from three sides”.

“Ukraine is reinforcing the area with elite units and in the past 36 hours two key bridges in Bakhmout have been destroyed, including a vital bridge connecting the city to the last main supply route,” the ministry said. British.

Kiev said on Saturday that the head of Ukrainian special forces, General Viktor Khorenko, had inspected units defending Bakhmout.


New aid American

As this fierce fighting continues, President Joe Biden on Friday announced $400 million in new military aid to Ukraine.

Western military aid to Ukraine has been crucial in enabling Kyiv to stand up to Russian troops and even regain ground, but the Kremlin said such aid would only “prolong the conflict”.

Washington nevertheless included in this military support munitions, notably for the Himars rocket system, which Ukrainian forces used with devastating effect on Russian troops and logistics lines.

The Ukrainian Minister of Defense , Oleksiy Reznikov, hailed a new “solid investment for the future successes of the Ukrainian army on the battlefield”.

For his part, Volodymyr Zelensky received on Saturday in Lviv, in western Ukraine, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola. “Ukraine has a goal […] to start negotiations to join the EU this year,” he said on Telegram.

Ms Metsola said she shares this goal. “The future of Ukraine is in the European Union,” she said.

At the same time, several officials from Ukrainian regions in the south and east of the country reported new Russian fire against civilian infrastructure in the past 24 hours.

Ukrainian emergency services said on Saturday that the toll of the strike against an apartment building in Zaporizhia on Wednesday night , had risen to 10 dead, including a child.

Authorities also announced the death of two civilians in a Saturday morning “Russian artillery” strike on the town of Gulyai Pole, and two other deaths during shootings in the town of Chervonohryhorivka in the Dnipro region.

On Telegram, the mayor of the town of Horlivka, under the control of pro-Russian separatists from Donetsk, told him that two civilians had been killed killed in shelling by “Ukrainian forces”.