War in Ukraine – Kyiv: Donbass defensive wall comes under pressure

According to information from Kyiv, Russian troops are aggressively attacking Bakhmut, a cornerstone of the defense system around the last Ukrainian-held conurbation in the Donbass. “The enemy is launching an attack on Bakhmut, fighting continues,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in its situation report on Saturday. The day before, the pro-Russian rebels had reported that fighting was already taking place within the city limits.

The information provided by both sides cannot be checked independently. Since the capture of the Luhansk Oblast, Russian offensive efforts in eastern Ukraine have focused on the neighboring Donetsk Oblast. The Russian invaders have gradually been able to push back the Ukrainian defenders over the past few weeks. They now control about 60 percent of the territory. The headquarters of the Ukrainian troops in the Donbass is located in the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk conurbation, where a good half a million people lived before the war. This area is secured from the east by the Siwersk – Soledar – Bakhmut line of fortifications.

This is now faltering in several places. Russian troops are also in front of Siwersk and Soledar. However, the heaviest fighting is currently taking place around the Bakhmut traffic junction, which the Russians are shelling with artillery and tanks.

Fighting in front of Donetsk continues

The fighting is also continuing in front of the former regional capital of Donetsk, which has been in the hands of pro-Russian separatists since 2014. The troops loyal to Moscow are trying to push the Ukrainians further away. In the area of ​​the small town of Avdiivka, north of Donetsk, there had been several attempted attacks that had been repelled, the general staff reported. The area was bombarded with artillery over a large area.

In the south of the country, however, the initiative is passed to the Ukrainians. There, the Russian troops concentrated on defending their positions in the occupied territories, according to the situation report. The “South” command of the Ukrainian military previously reported that it had destroyed at least six Russian arms and ammunition depots and two command posts in the Kherson region. There is no independent confirmation for this information either. (dpa)

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