While a land conflict rages in the east, Russia launches a missile barrage on Ukraine

Russian missile barrage on Ukraine: volleys impacted a number of Ukrainian regions early on Thursday, including the second city of Kharkiv and the Black Sea port of Odesa, cutting out electricity to many places, according to local officials.

Maksym Marchenko, the governor of the Odesa region, posted on Telegram that a large-scale missile barrage on Ukraine had struck a power plant in the port city, cutting power. Although residential areas were also affected, there were no recorded fatalities.
Oleh Synehubov, the governor of the Kharkiv region, reported that 15 strikes had been made, with infrastructure being one of the targets. Regions around the nation, including the capital city of Dnipro, reported additional strikes.
The Ukrainian military said late on Wednesday that it had successfully repelled a fierce Russian missile barrage on Ukraine attacks on the city of Bakhmut despite a Russian claim of control over its eastern half.

The Ukrainian troops, who last week seemed to be preparing for a tactical retreat, maintained their defiance as one of the bloodiest clashes of the year-long conflict continued in the wreckage of the little city.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces posted on Facebook that “the enemy maintained its attacks and has shown no sign of a letup in conquering the city of Bakhmut”. Attacks on Bakhmut and the adjacent communities were repelled by our defenders.
Political and military authorities in Ukraine now talk about holding onto positions and killing as many Russians as possible to reduce their combat prowess.
The war for Bakhmut and the neighboring Donbas region was “our primary priority,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated in a late Wednesday video address.

He stated: “We believe that Russia has begun its offensive in the Donbas direction in a separate interview with CNN. The offensive is this. This is how it appears since they lack sufficient power and resources: slow aggression.
Wagner’s leader in Russia, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that his men had taken control of Bakhmut’s eastern region. If accurate, Russian forces would be pursuing their first significant victory in recent months at great expense and control roughly half of the city.

Wagner has complete control over everything east of the Bakhmutka River, according to Prigozhin on the messaging service Telegram.

The river divides Bakhmut, which is located on the outskirts of the Donetsk province of Ukraine, which is already largely occupied by Russia. On the west side of the river is where the city center.

Prior to now, Prigozhin had made unfounded claims of success. Reuters was unable to independently confirm the local circumstances.
In addition to the Zabakhmutka neighborhood on the eastern outskirts of Bakhmut, the Russians, according to Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov, also took control of the Ilyinivka neighborhood on the north side.

He declared in a video commentary that “the situation is grave” and added that Russian forces had also made progress north of Svatovo and south of Avdiivka.
At a gathering of European Union defense ministers in Stockholm, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg claimed that Russia was sending additional troops into the fray.
Even though they have suffered significant casualties, Stoltenberg noted that Bakhmut could yet fall within the next several days.

Not necessarily a turning point in the conflict, but it did demonstrate that “we should not underestimate Russia,” he said.

EU defense ministers decided to support Ukraine’s military, which is using up shells faster than its partners can produce them, by accelerating the supply of artillery rounds and purchasing extra shells.

According to the proposal, EU nations would receive financial incentives totaling 1 billion euros to supply more artillery rounds to Kyiv, and an additional 1 billion euros would be used to fund a combined purchase of new shells.
According to Russia, which claims to have annexed about 20% of Ukrainian territory, capturing Bakhmut would be the first step towards capturing the entire industrial Donbas region on its border.

Although its seizure would be a lift for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his troops after a string of losses in what they refer to as their “special military operation,” Western observers claim Bakhmut has little strategic worth.

Ukraine is likely to undertake a counteroffensive when the weather improves and it receives additional Western military assistance, including tanks, according to Kyiv, which claims that the casualties incurred by Russia there could determine the direction of the war.
Since Russia’s invasion in February of last year, the fighting in the east has been among the deadliest and most damaging. Bakhmut now joins the list of destroyed cities that also includes Mariupol, Sievierodonetsk, and Lysychansk.

A military drone from Ukraine captured footage of burning apartment buildings and smoke rising from residential neighborhoods, illuminating the extent of the devastation in Bakhmut.

Out of the 70,000 people who lived in Bakhmut before the war, less than 4,000 residents, including 38 children, remain there, according to Iryna Vereshchuk, a deputy Ukrainian prime.

Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence for the United States, testified before a Senate committee that Moscow did not expect its military to improve significantly this year.
As a response to risks to its security posed by its neighbor’s links to the West, Russia justifies its invasion of Ukraine.

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