| 23 February 2024, Friday |

Zelensky promises ‘good news’ from Kherson, reports heaviest fighting near Bakhmut

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Wednesday evening address, that his troops are holding out against repeated attacks by Russian forces in two eastern towns. He further said that the troops on the southern front are gearing up to battle for the strategic Kherson region, which Russia appears to be reinforcing.
Zelensky also informed that there will be good news from the front. However, he neither gave any details nor did he clearly mention what was happening in Kherson. Officials and military analysts have predicted that Kherson will witness one of the most fiercest battles of the war since Russia invaded Ukraine eight months ago. The result of what happens in Kherson will ultimately decide who holds the edge.
Avdiivka, outside Donetsk, and Bakhmut were both facing witnessing the fiercest fightings, Zelensky said.

“This is where the craziness of the Russian command is most evident. Day after day, for months, they are driving people to their deaths there, concentrating the highest level of artillery strikes,” he said.

Russian forces have repeatedly tried to seize Bakhmut, which sits on a main road leading to the Ukrainian-held cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

“The situation on the front line hasn’t changed significantly,” Zelensky said. ”The fiercest battles are in the Donetsk region, towards (the cities of) Bakhmut and Avdiyivka”.
Ukrainian forces have been advancing along the Dnipro River in the south, but things seem to have slowed down. Meanwhile, Russia is evacuating civilians from Kherson saying that Ukraine is preparing to launch a fierce attack.

At least 70,000 people have left their homes in Kherson province, a Moscow-installed official, Vladimir Saldo, told a regional TV channel.

Ukraine’s defence minister Oleksii Reznikov said that wet weather and rough terrain were hampering Kyiv’s counter-offensive in Kherson.

Russia has been attacking Kyiv and other areas with Iranian-made drones. The attacks have damaged several thermal power stations leaving much of the country in the dark. People have been asked to reduce their consumption of power in lieu of the situation and the approaching winter.

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