“Fierce” battles between Ukrainian troops and Russian forces for the capture of Vugledar, in the eastern Ukraine.
“Soon, Vugledar can become another very big success for us”Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk region appointed by Moscow, said on Friday.
Both sides have claimed “victory”, but the city is still being fought for, according to Kyiv.
The representative of the Ukrainian army for the eastern sector, Serhiy Tserevaty, confirmed that “fierce battles” are foughtthey assure themselves that the Russians were repulsed.
In this mining town, 150 kilometers from Bakhmut, which had a population of 15,000 before the Russian invasion, “barbaric” fighting is ongoing and Russian forces are “set up in the south-east and east of the town”, a pro-Russian official said. in the Donetsk region, Yan Gagin.
“The encirclement and future liberation” of this community will allow “to change the balance of power on the front” and pave the way for launching an attack in the direction of Pokrovsk and Kurakhove, further north, according to Mr. Pushilin.
Ukrainian authorities said this week that Russian forces, which have a numerical advantage, have stepped up their attacks in the eastern part of the country, especially in the cities of Vugledar and Bakhmut — the latter of which has been targeted for months.
The Russian side is preparing to launch another attack on February 24, the anniversary of the invasion, said Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s Defense and National Security Council, adding that it was “no secret”.
According to the American Institute for the Study of War, Russia seeks to “disperse” Ukrainian forces in order to create “the conditions for a decisive offensive operation”.
The Russian armed forces and men of the Russian private military company Wagner recently captured Soledar, north of Bakhmut.
“The Russians are advancing, we have constant fire, day and night, they are trying to find weak points in our defense”Ukrainian soldier Yuri, 44, told AFP in a trench in Bakhmut.
Also in eastern Ukraine, in Chasiv Yar, two people were killed and at least five others were wounded by Russian artillery fire, local authorities said. Further north, in the Kharkiv region, two more people were killed when the village of Dvoritsna was rammed, the Ukrainian presidency announced.
The city of Kherson was also targeted by Russian shells, according to the same img.
Russia has mobilized hundreds of thousands of reserves and is now trying to break through Ukrainian defense lines and seize the rest of Donbas, a vast industrial region of eastern Ukraine.
In this context, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised Poland’s decision to send to his country another 60 tanks, among them a modernized version of the Soviet-designed T-72, in addition to the 14 Leopard 2 already promised by Warsaw to Kyiv.
At the same time, the Belgian government pledged to provide Ukraine with funding to procure missiles, machine guns, ammunition, armored vehicles.
As for the Ukrainian Air Force, it decided yesterday that the US-made F-16 is “probably the best candidate” to become its main fighter, according to its spokesman Yuriy Ignat.
The Ukrainian president is asking the West for fighter jets and long-range missiles, which the West has so far refused to give him.
For its part, the European Union decided yesterday to extend for another six months the sanctions it had imposed on Russia when it annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014 and is preparing new measures against Moscow.
Source: News Beast
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