UKRAINE: Bakhmut, an eastern Ukrainian city, was experiencing heavy artillery bombardment as the NATO chief backed local reports that a major fresh Russian offensive had started days before the first anniversary of Moscow’s invasion.
“We see how they are sending more troops, more weapons, and more capabilities,” said Jens Stoltenberg, secretary-general of NATO, to reporters in Brussels, stating that this was the beginning of a fresh offensive.
Ukraine’s defenders, who had previously held out for several months, were reportedly thwarting fresh ground attacks while being intensively shelled, Ukrainian military officials stated.
Over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian forces have repelled Russian attacks in six settlements in the Donetsk area, including Bakhmut, roughly five settlements in the Luhansk region, and one in the Kharkiv region, the Ukrainian military reported early on Tuesday.
A deputy battalion commander stated on Monday that positions in Bakhmut had been strengthened and that only those with a military function were being allowed in, while any civilians wishing to flee would have to endure the oncoming fire.
On Monday, the governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, told Ukraine’s state radio that “not a single square metre in Bakhmut is safe or out of range of hostile artillery or drones.”
Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has set a top priority on capturing Bakhmut because doing so would give his country a new footing in the Donetsk region and a rare triumph after months of losses.
The Wagner group of mercenaries, who over the past three days have achieved modest gains in the northern suburbs of Bakhmut, have been leading the Russian attack on that city, the British Ministry of Defense stated on Tuesday.
The ministry stated in a routine dispatch that it was probable that not much progress had been made in the Russian tactical push south of Bakhmut. Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, said that Russian forces are attempting to surround Bakhmut.
Zelenskiy stated in an evening speech, “Thank you to all of our soldiers who are stopping the occupiers from surrounding Bakhmut… and who are holding crucial locations at the front.”
The Donbas, or the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, is the industrial centre of Ukraine and is currently partially under Russian control.
Russian forces sought to occupy the whole Luhansk region and enter its administrative bounds, said Serhiy Haidai, the region’s governor. Our team was unable to independently verify the reports from the battlefield.
Since Russia’s invasion on February 24, 7,199 civilian deaths and 11,756 injuries have been reported, mostly as a result of shelling, missile strikes, and airstrikes, according to the U.N. human rights office. But it thought the real number was far higher.
A NATO source stated that because Ukraine was using up shells much more quickly than Western nations could supply them, the stockpile of ammunition would be increased.
Several European nations, notably Poland, Britain, and Germany, are currently hosting training sessions for Ukrainian forces on the Leopard 2 and other sophisticated combat tanks that will strengthen their defences.
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