| 23 February 2024, Friday |

Forces closer to recapturing key eastern city of Kreminna, says Ukraine

As fierce battle raged on in the east and south of the nation, Ukrainian forces appear to have advanced closer to retaking the crucially important city of Kreminna in Luhansk region, which is now under Russian control.

Serhiy Haidai, the regional governor of Luhansk, claimed that Ukrainian military pressure caused fighters in a sector of the city under Russian command to flee to Rubizhne, a town a few kilometers to the south-east.

The Russians are aware that their entire line of defense will crumble if they lose Kreminna, Haidai remarked on the Telegram messaging service on Tuesday. “In less than a month, or even a little longer, the Russian occupying troops were able to build an extremely strong defense. They are transporting a sizable number of supplies and equipment there. They continually upgrade their armies.

The Guardian was unable to independently verify the changes on the battlefield.

The retaking of Kreminna and the neighboring Svatove could pave the way for Kyiv to launch an offensive against the two cities Ukraine lost in the summer, Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk.

The fierce fighting continues amid no sign of imminent peace talks.

Late on Monday Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Kyiv must accept Moscow’s demands of “demilitarization and denazification” or suffer defeat on the battlefield.

Lavrov’s statements show the Kremlin has no intention of climbing down from its maximalist goals of regime change in Ukraine, despite Vladimir Putin’s claims on Sunday that Russia was ready for talks to end the war.

Russia allegedly “relocated” some of its aircraft away from the Engels airbase last Thursday, which Moscow claimed was hit by a Ukrainian drone the day before, killing three Russian personnel.

“After yesterday’s well-known incidents, we see that the planes, specifically strategic aviation, are spread there… However, many of them have already been moved to other airfields,” Col. Yuriy Ignat, the head spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, told Ukrainian media.

Numerous military objectives, including oil and weapon stores, have been damaged after catching fire since the start of the conflict. Although Kyiv has previously praised such events as retaliation, it does not openly acknowledge strikes inside of Russia.

  • Sawt Beirut International
  • The Guardian