‘What is madness like?’: Russia steps up attack on Bakhmut

KIEV, UKRAINE (AP) — Russian forces are escalating an onslaught on Ukrainian positions around the destroyed city of Bakhmut, a Ukrainian official said. Widespread war in Moscow.

“Everything is completely destroyed. Few people have survived,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said late Monday of the sights around Bakhmut and the nearby city of Soledar in Donetsk province.

“The whole land near Soledar is covered with occupiers’ corpses and scars from airstrikes,” said Zelensky. “This is what madness looks like.”

The Kremlin, which has repeatedly reversed its invasion of its neighbor 10 and a half months ago, is hungry for any victory. Russia illegally annexed Donetsk and his three other Ukrainian states in his Sept. the army struggled move on.

Fighting escalated around Bakhmut after Ukrainian forces recaptured the southern city of Kherson in November.

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maryal said Russia had thrown “a number of storm groups” into the battle for the city. “The enemy is literally advancing with the bodies of their own soldiers, using heavy artillery, rocket launchers and mortars to attack their own forces,” she said.

Kyiv-appointed Donetsk governor Pablo Kirilenko said on Tuesday that Russia’s attacks on Soledar and Bakhmut are relentless.

“Russian forces are tearing Ukrainian cities to rubble with all kinds of weapons,” Kirilenko said in a televised remark. “Russia is waging war without rules, causing death and suffering among civilians.”

The leader of the Moscow-backed Occupied Donetsk Territory said on Tuesday that Russian forces were “very close” to capturing Soledar. But the profits came “at a very high price,” Denis Pushrin told Russian state television.

Pushirin said that taking control of the city would create “good prospects” for capturing Bakhmut, and would also allow for further attacks on the town of Siversk further north, where Ukrainian fortifications were “very serious.” rice field.

The UK Ministry of Defense agreed with its assessment of the combat deployment. Russian troops, along with soldiers from the Russian private military contractor Wagner Group, recently advanced in Soledar and “likely control most of the settlement,” the ministry tweeted on Tuesday.

He said capturing Soledar, 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of Bakhmut, was an immediate military objective for Moscow and was likely part of a strategy to besiege Bakhmut.

However, he added, “Ukrainian forces maintain a deep and stable line of defense and control supply routes.”

An exceptional feature of the fighting near Bahmut was that some of it took place around the entrance to disused salt mine tunnels, some 200 kilometers (120 miles) underground in the area, the British said. intelligence agency reports point out.

“Both sides are likely concerned that (the tunnels) could be used to infiltrate behind their lines,” it said.

Russian Defense Minister Shoigu maintains the trust of Russian President Vladimir Putin, though his exploits have been heavily criticized in some Russian circles.

According to Shoigu, military communications and control systems will be improved using artificial intelligence, giving the military better tactical equipment and equipment.

The Kremlin is not only fighting Ukraine, Its NATO alliesKremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that NATO member states “have become parties to the conflict, pumping weapons, technology and intelligence data into Ukraine.”

Several front-line cities in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions have seen heavy fighting in recent months.

These provinces make up Donbass, a vast industrial area bordering Russia. President Putin of Russia A focal point since the war began, it has been identified as where the Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting since 2014.

A vigorous Russian offensive to the east occupied almost all of Luhansk during the summer. Donetsk escaped the same fate, after which the Russian army poured manpower and resources into Bakhmut.

The capture of Bakhmut would cut Ukrainian supply lines and pave the way for Russian forces to advance towards Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, key Ukrainian strongholds in Donetsk.

Like Mariupol and other contested cities, Bakhmut endured a long siege, for weeks without water and electricity, even before Moscow launched a massive strike to destroy public facilities across Ukraine. spent.

Kirilenko, governor of the Donetsk region, estimated that 90% of the pre-war Bakhmut population of more than 70,000 had fled since Moscow’s focus on seizing the entire Donbass more than two months ago.

The Ukrainian president’s office said at least four civilians were killed and another 30 wounded in Russian artillery shelling from Monday to Tuesday.

Vitaly Kim, governor of the Mykolaiv Southern Region, said Russian forces had shelled the Ochakiv port and surrounding areas late Monday and then again early Tuesday morning. He said 15 people, including a 2-year-old child, were injured in Monday’s shelling.


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