Putin wants to complete the conquest of Donbass before the first anniversary of the war

Units of Russia’s joint forces in the Donetsk region on Wednesday tried to continue their advance around the town of Bakhmut as an initial step before launching towards Kramatorsk and Sloviansk and completing the occupation of Donbass, which is President Vladimir Putin’s main strategic goal. So far, the head of the operation and the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces have entrusted Major General Valery Gerasimov.

Chairman of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), Dennis PushlinFor several days now, he has been asserting that the fall of Bakhmut is imminent and that the Ukrainian forces defending him are already practically surrounded. On Wednesday, the retired colonel of the separatist forces of the National Republican Party, Andrei Marochko, He asserted that “the Russian forces should advance 10 km just to close the siege” around Bakhmut.

According to Marushko, the Ukrainians “will no longer be able to withdraw in an organized manner from the city, because all the roads on which it congregates are within range of Russian artillery.” However, Ukrainian media Telegram channels such as Ukrinform or UNIAN reported that the Russians are surrounding Bakhmut only from the east and south.

In this town, where the Russian army’s attempts to bring it under its control date back to the summer, the 44th Ukrainian Artillery Brigade, which hopes to dismantle the Russian batteries so as not to cut off the passage of ammunition from Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Konstantinovka and Chasov-Yar. Bakhmut is defended by the 3rd Brigade of the National Guard, whose forces yesterday, according to Kyiv, eliminated “a large assault group of Russian Wagner mercenaries,” who apparently tried to break through the Ukrainian lines.

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promotion in the region

Citing UNIAN, the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) asserts that the Russian military “has been able to maintain its momentum in the Bakhmut region thanks to the dispatch of airborne forces.” So far, the initiative in this area of ​​u200bu200bthe front was carried out by the Wagners, who played a decisive role in the capture of neighboring Soledar, but, in the opinion of the ISW, their units were already depleted and needed reinforcements.

In general, the ISW estimates that the Kremlin “overestimated” the capabilities of its army in the Bakhmut region and considers that the battle could drag on for several more days. But in Kyiv, voices are already being heard calling for a withdrawal in order to avoid further casualties and to preserve these forces for use on other parts of the front. In Bakhmut, despite the heavy shelling of Russian artillery, there are still civilians. Those who live in the eastern part of the city are now experiencing the worst of it. Ukrainian media reported that people are living in their basements without even being able to go out to get food.

Pushlin believed that as soon as Bakhmut fell into the hands of Russia, it would be easier to move towards it Kramatorsk and Sloviansk. He also believed that the capture of Vogledar, located 130 kilometers southwest of Bakhmut, would open the gates to the cities of Kuragovo, Marinka and Pokrovsk. Vogledar is also besieged by the Russian army and fierce fighting takes place around it. Some lived in this city before the war 15,000 people And it has been a relatively quiet area so far, which has become another priority objective for Moscow in its plans to occupy all of Donbass before Ukraine receives the tanks promised by the West.

Spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General Igor Konashenkov, On Monday announced “new attacks” of Russian forces in the Donetsk region. Then Bochlin said that “our units have established their positions in the eastern part of Vogledar as well as in the immediate vicinity”. However, according to the Ukrainian military spokesman, Evgen Yeren, “the Russian attacks are failing” and the Kyiv forces “manage to repel them”.

On the other hand, Konashenkov reported on Tuesday that the Russian army had captured the Ukrainian town of Blagodny, near Bakhmut. The Russian spokesman said that the operation was carried out by “offensive detachments made up of volunteers with the support of the operational and tactical aviation, missile and artillery forces of the southern group.”

In the past month, Russian forces have already managed to drive the Ukrainian army out of Solidar, located about twenty kilometers northeast of Bakhmut. The population of Solidar before the war broke out, in February last year, was about 10,000. A significant part of them worked for “Artyomsol”, the largest salt producer in the eastern half of Europe.

at that time, Andrey YermakYermak, the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, compared the fighting at Soledar and Bakhmut to the Battle of Verdun in 1916. When asked what was happening in these two cities, Yermak replied that “the situation is difficult, even more difficult than one can imagine.”

This is the Battle of Verdun in the 21st century. The fighting has been going on for several months, but our fighters managed to hold their positions.” According to him, “There are many human losses on the Russian side, much more than our losses because we value the lives of our soldiers more.”

The Battle of Verdun, which went down in history as the “Verdun meat grinder”, was the longest engagement of the First World War. Historians still argue about the number of casualties, although rough estimates speak volumes for some 300,000 German and French soldiers died there. For his part, Ukrainian presidential advisor Mikhailo Podolak confirmed that “everything that happens in Bakhmut constitutes the bloodiest scenario for this war.”

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