UKRAINE: Ukrainian troops have been successful in holding out strongly against persistent attacks by Russian forces in two eastern towns.
On the southern front, the Ukrainian military is poised for battle, reinforcing battle stations and armament for possible confrontation in the strategic Kherson region, where Russia appears to be bolstering its own troops.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Wednesday evening video address that he hoped for positive news from the front, but he gave no details.
While President Zelensky did not provide any details from Kherson in the south, the predictions of officials and military analysts indicated that the Kherson confrontation would likely be one of the most significant battles of the war since President Putin launched a “special military operation” on February 24.
As per Zelensky’s details, the most severe fighting in eastern Ukraine was taking place near Avdiivka, outside Donetsk, and Bakhmut.
“This is where the craziness of the Russian command is most evident. Day after day, for months, they are driving people to their deaths there, concentrating on the highest level of artillery strikes,” he said.
Bakhmut is a strategic region that the Russians have repeatedly tried to seize since it connects the main road leading to the Ukrainian-occupied cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.
Ukrainians battle to retake the city
The impending battle for Kherson, at the mouth of the Dnipro River, will determine whether Ukraine can loosen Russia’s grip on the south and recapture territory there, driving the Russians out.
Meanwhile, the Russian-installed Kherson regional government said it has moved camp to the left bank of the Dnipro for strategic placement, Russia’s RIA news agency reported, as forces braced for an increase in fighting.
On the frontlines on the west bank of the Russian-occupied Dnipro, Ukrainian troops said Russian shelling was increasing consistently after having tailed off in recent weeks.
Ukrainian forces marched along the Dnipro in a dramatic push in the south at the beginning of this month, but progress seems to have slowed down.
Meanwhile, Russia has been evacuating civilians on the west bank but says it has no plans to withdraw its troops.
Ukrainian troops were encountering several issues on the frontlines, said Ukraine’s defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov. He attributed those troubles to wet weather and rough terrain, which were making Kyiv’s counter-offensive measures in Kherson harder than they were in the north east.
Moreover, Moscow is in the news for another reason, apart from the Ukraine crisis. President Putin has repeatedly threatened to unleash nuclear weapons to fend off Ukrainian forces and protect its territorial sovereignty.
The Russian military staged a high-profile nuclear rehearsal, flourishing arms for a possible nuclear war, with state media broadcasting visuals of submarines, strategic bombers, and missile forces practising launches in retaliation for an atomic attack.
This month, Russia launched a new campaign of strikes using missiles and Iran-made drones against Ukraine’s energy facilities, also targeting several residential homes and parks across the country.
Several Russian attacks were recorded in the Kyiv region on Wednesday night, in an attempt to “terrorise” the Ukrainian people, governor Oleksy Kuleba wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
“The elimination of the fire and the consequences of the attack is ongoing,” he said, adding there were no casualties.
Russia also whipped up an accusation this week against Kyiv, claiming that Ukraine is undergoing preparations to release sensitive nuclear material with a so-called “dirty bomb”.