Ukraine prepares counterattack as Russia’s siege on Bakhmut slows – National

The commander said Ukrainian forces, which have been defending for months, would soon strike back as the Russian offensive appears to be weakening, but President Volodymyr Zelensky said that without a faster supply of weapons He warned that the war could last for years.

The Ukrainian military said early on Friday that 1,020 Russian troops had been killed in the past 24 hours in unsuccessful attacks on the towns of Raiman, Avdiuka, Mariinka and Shakhtarsk. However, their main focus was still the mining town of Bahmut.

“The enemy has not stopped attacking Bakhmut,” the Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine said in a report.

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Russian forces have been trying to capture Bakhmut for months as they seek to expand their control over eastern Ukraine in the deadliest infantry warfare in Europe since World War II.

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Ukrainian forces have thwarted them, as they have done again in Avdiivka, Mariinka and Shakhtarske among 80 Russian attacks Ukrainian garrisons have repulsed in the past day, the military said.

There was no immediate communication from Russia regarding the latest fighting, and Reuters was unable to confirm battlefield reports.

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Russians see minimal profits in Bakhmut

Ukrainian Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Shirsky said his troops would soon launch a counteroffensive after resisting Russia’s winter campaign.

He said the Russian Wagnerian mercenaries, who were at the forefront of Moscow’s offensive against eastern and southern Ukraine, “have lost considerable strength and lost momentum.”

“We will immediately take advantage of this opportunity, as we have done in the past near Kiev, Kharkov, Balakliya and Kupiansk,” he said, citing last year’s Ukrainian counterattack that recaptured land.

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There was no immediate reaction from Moscow to suggestions that Bakhmut’s forces were losing momentum, but Wagner’s boss Evgeny Prigozhin issued a statement warning of a Ukrainian counterattack.

A Reuters journalist near Bakhmut’s northern front saw signs consistent with suggestions that the Russian offensive in the region may be weakening. In the Ukrainian-held village west of Soledar, on the northern outskirts of Bakhmut, the intensity of Russian artillery fire has significantly weakened since two days ago.

“It was really hot a week ago, but it’s been quiet for the last three days,” said a Ukrainian soldier using the call sign “Kamin” or “Stone.”

“You can see this by looking at enemy airstrikes. We used to get five or six airstrikes a day, but today we’re only getting one helicopter attack,” the soldier said.

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Zelensky said Europe must speed up by increasing supplies of weapons, demand again long-range missiles, ammunition and modern aircraft, and impose additional sanctions on Russia.

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Battle of Bakhmut: Ukrainian defenders come under pressure as Russia surrounds city

“If Europe waits, evil may have time to regroup and prepare for years of war,” a clearly displeased Zelensky said Thursday in European Union guidance delivered from a train. said in a video address to

At the EU summit, leaders approved a plan to send one million artillery shells to Ukraine within the next year, agreed by foreign ministers on Monday.They also discussed global food security and sanctions against Russia. rice field.

Britain has pledged to supply armor-piercing ammunition containing depleted uranium to help destroy Russian tanks. President Vladimir Putin said the weapons contained “nuclear components” and would force a response from Russia.

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Slovakia said on Thursday it had delivered the first four MiG-29 jets it had promised to Ukraine, with the rest to be delivered in the coming weeks.

Russia’s slowdown in Bakhmut could mean Russia is diverting troops and resources elsewhere.

The UK said on Thursday that Russian forces had moved further north this month and had partially regained control of their entry into the town of Creminna. Further south, heavy fighting was taking place.

Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov agreed with that assessment. He said on his YouTube that Russia’s attacks on Bakhmut have been declining and are shifting their focus to the south to the town of Avdiuka.

Russian forces have become more active in the northern Kharkov and Luhansk regions, central Zaporizhia and southern Kherson regions, he said.

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Zelensky continued his tour of the front-line province on Thursday, visiting the Kherson region in the south, a day after meeting with troops near Bakhmut.

A video showed him meeting residents of Posad Pokrovske, a bombed village on the former Kherson Front that was recaptured in Ukraine’s last major advance last year.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 in what it called a “special military operation”, saying Ukraine’s relations with the West pose a security threat. Since then, tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers on both sides have been killed.

Russia destroyed Ukrainian cities and forced millions to flee. It says it has annexed almost a fifth of Ukraine. Kiev and the West call the war a futile attack to conquer an independent country.

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