Progress made in defense of Bakhmut, Ukrainian

Nabil Anas

Global Courant 2023-05-18 03:42:55

The Ukrainian army said on Wednesday it had made new advances in heavy fighting near the eastern city of Bakhmut, and that Russia continued to send new units, including paratroopers.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said there had been sustained Russian shelling in several regions, noting in a video address that these attacks showed the need to apply further international pressure on Moscow.

The comments about Bakhmut by military spokesman Serhiy Cherevatyi were the latest by a Ukrainian figure in the past week to indicate that Russian forces have been pushed back in some areas.

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“We are successfully conducting a defensive operation, a counter-attack, and during this day our units have penetrated up to 500 meters in some parts,” he told Ukrainian television.

No sign of Russia running out of ammunition, says Ukraine

He said he saw no sign that Russian troops were short of ammunition, contradicting statements by Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group that led the attack on Bakhmut.

“The enemy is trying to take over the city at will and is striking with all systems and calibers,” Cherevatyi said. “They’re moving new units (to Bakhmut), mostly paratroopers, trying to get some sort of interim success.”

A social media screenshot released May 14 shows grenades exploding in a village north of Bakhmut occupied by Russian forces, in Paraskoviivka, Ukraine. (ZSU 45th Separate Artillery Brigade/Reuters)

Moscow sees Bakhmut, a city of about 70,000 before the Russian invasion, as a springboard to conquer the rest of the eastern industrial Donbas region bordering Russia.

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Ukrainian officials have indicated that the advance around Bakhmut is not part of a wider counter-offensive planned by Kiev to push back Russian forces.

Moscow did not immediately comment on Cherevatyi’s remarks, although Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency quoted Russia’s Defense Ministry as saying that its troops continued to fight to take the western parts of Bakhmut.

LOOK | Why the city of Bakhmut is so crucial:

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Bakhmut a ‘propaganda victory’ for either party, says retired US Army brigadier general

Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt says the city of Bakhmut has little strategic importance in the broader context of the war. “I think this is just both commanders – Putin and Zelensky – trying to outdo each other to declare a great victory to their people and keep this war going.”

Wagner Group leader criticizes Russian commanders

Prigozhin seemed to confirm in an audio statement that Ukrainian forces now had an advantage in Bakhmut and again criticized the Russian commanders.

“Despite the fact that the enemy has only a few percent of the territory in Bakhmut, it does not seem possible to encircle the enemy,” he said. “Due to the advance of the enemy… Russian paratroopers have taken up positions favorable to the enemy.”

Reuters was unable to verify the situation on the battlefield.

Ukrainian military analyst Oleksandr Musiyenko said the protracted battle resembled the defeat of Nazi forces by the Soviet army at Stalingrad in 1943 after five months of fighting.

“Russian troops have lost the initiative on the flanks – our troops have cut off those flanks,” Musiyenko told NV Radio.

LOOK | Canadians killed fighting for Ukraine:

2 Canadians killed fighting for Ukraine

Two Canadians serving in Ukraine’s International Legion were killed in fighting in Bakhmut. Cole Zelenco, 21, of St. Catharines, Ont., and Kyle Porter, 27, of Calgary, were hit and killed by Russian artillery fire Wednesday while defending a critical supply route.

Progress made in defense of Bakhmut, Ukrainian

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