SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

Russia claims gains in relentless battles in east Ukraine

After waves upon waves of attacks that Kyiv claimed shown Moscow had no concern for the deaths of its own soldiers, Russian forces claimed incremental victories in eastern Ukraine on Monday that added up to their largest advances in months.

Denis Pushilin, the governor of the Donetsk provincial areas under Russian control, claimed that forces had gained access to the ruins of Vuhledar, a coal mining town that has served as a Ukrainian stronghold since the war’s inception.

A day earlier, the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary force said his fighters had secured Blahodatne, a village just north of Bakhmut, a city that has been the focus of sustained Russian attacks for months.

Kyiv said it had repelled assaults on Blahodatne and Vuhledar, and Reuters could not independently verify the situations there. But the locations of the reported fighting indicated clear, though gradual, Russian gains after around two months in which front lines had largely been frozen in place.

“The situation is very tough. Bakhmut, Vuhledar and other sectors in Donetsk region – there are constant Russian attacks,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video address late on Sunday.

“The enemy does not count its people and, despite numerous casualties, maintains a high intensity of attacks.”

Vuhledar sits south of Bakhmut, near where the eastern frontline protects Russian-controlled rail lines supplying Moscow’s forces in southern Ukraine. Mykola Salamakha, a Ukrainian colonel and military analyst, told Ukrainian Radio NV that Moscow’s assault there was coming at huge cost.

“The town is on an upland and an extremely strong defensive hub has been created there,” he said. “This is a repetition of the situation in Bakhmut – one wave of Russian troops after another crushed by the Ukrainian armed forces.”

    Source:
  • Reuters