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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Ukraine: Sergei Shoigu at the front – dead after Russian shelling

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Fighting continues in Bakhmut, Ukraine. Meanwhile, Sergei Shoigu is getting an idea of ​​the situation at the front – elsewhere people are dying in the Russian bombing raids.

In the months-long battle for the city of Bakhmut, the Ukrainian army says it is continuing to withstand the attacks of the Russian invaders. The Ukrainian general staff said on Sunday morning that “more than 130 enemy attacks” had been repelled the day before, particularly in Bakhmut, Kupyansk, Lyman and Avdiivka. Army spokesman Sergey Cherevaty said the situation in the eastern Ukrainian industrial city of Bakhmut was “difficult but under control”.

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According to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, the Ukrainian army even managed to inflict heavy casualties on Russian fighters in Bakhmut. “The Russians lose up to 500 dead and wounded every day,” Resnikov told Bild am Sonntag.

Bachmut has been contested since last summer. The fighting continued over the weekend. “The enemy is continuing its attempts to encircle Bakhmut,” the Ukrainian general staff said, referring to the repelled attacks there and in other eastern Ukrainian cities.

Reznikov emphasized that taking Bakhmut by Russia would have little strategic impact. “If they take Bakhmut, it won’t mean anything for the Donbass,” he told the “Bild am Sonntag”. Rather, the city is a “symbolic place” for Moscow.

Experts: Bachmut cannot be encircled

In view of the use of the private mercenary group Wagner in the fight for Bakhmut, Resnikov spoke of a “kind of competition between different Kremlin towers”. The defense minister added that Russia was pursuing “meat grinder tactics” in Bakhmut, with “soldiers being just cannon fodder.”

According to the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the Ukrainian army is unlikely to be surrounded in Bakhmut. The high command “signaled that it would probably withdraw rather than risk being surrounded,” the ISW said.

Russian invasion: Kiev reports dead after shelling of Cherson - Russia's defense minister visits the front

Watch the video: Heavy fighting – Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut still under pressure.

The head of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said on Friday that his units had “virtually surrounded” Bakhmut. There is only “one road” left to conquer.

Prigozhin shows up regularly with his mercenaries at the front. The generals of the Russian army, on the other hand, are accused of avoiding the combat zones.

Russian Defense Minister visits the front

On Saturday, however, the Russian Defense Ministry released a video of the head of department Sergei Shoigu on the front line in eastern Ukraine. The ministry said he inspected a “command post” in the south of the Donetsk region, without naming the exact place or date of the visit.

In the video, Shoigu could be seen in a helicopter, talking to a soldier in front of damaged buildings and awarding fighters. The minister wears neither a helmet nor a bulletproof vest.

Shoigu also met the military responsible for the Ukraine offensive, including Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov. According to the ISW, Shoigu probably wanted to find out how large the Russian losses were around the town of Wuhledar, 150 kilometers southwest of Bakhmut, and whether another offensive in this direction was possible.

Ukraine: Dead after Russian shelling near Cherson

At the same time, Kiev reports Russian shelling of the southern Ukrainian region of Cherson. A house is said to have been hit and at least three people killed. The dead in the village of Poniativka were a woman and two children, wrote the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andriy Yermak, on Telegram on Sunday. “Russian terrorists continue to kill civilians,” Yermak added.

Russia has been waging a war of aggression against neighboring Ukraine for more than a year. Last fall, the Ukrainian army recaptured large parts of the Cherson region from the Russian occupiers. Since then, there have been regular reports of heavy shelling from Russian troops stationed just a short distance across the Dnipro River.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian civil defense announced that the death toll after a heavy rocket attack in the city of Zaporizhia last Thursday night had risen to 13. An eight-month-old girl had previously been recovered dead from the rubble of the five-story building.

Ukraine has accused Russia of committing serious war crimes since its invasion began a year ago. The cabinet in Kiev on Saturday approved an agreement reached with the International Criminal Court (ICC) that will allow for the early opening of an office of the ICC prosecutor in Ukraine. This is intended to facilitate investigations into war crimes.

In the midst of the war, Ukraine is also pushing ahead with its rapprochement with the European Union. Head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyi met EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola in Lviv, western Ukraine, on Saturday. She spoke out in favor of starting EU accession talks with Kiev later this year. His government is also working towards this goal, said Zelenskyj on Twitter.

Source: Stern

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