Kyiv says Russia is pursuing ‘efforts to encircle’ Bakhmut – WorldSUCHI News

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KYIV: Kyiv said on Sunday it was halting attacks by Russian troops still trying to encircle Bakhmut, an abandoned eastern Ukrainian town that Moscow has been trying to capture for months.

Ukraine has vowed to protect the “Bakhmut fortress” but faces Russian forces determined to take the city as a political prize during the war.

The Ukrainian civil service said “more than 130 enemy attacks” were repelled in the past day including in Kupiansk, Lyman, Bakhmut and Avdiivka.

“The enemy continues his efforts to surround the town of Bakhmut,” he said on Sunday morning.

Bakhmut was largely reduced to rubble during the longest and bloodiest phase of the campaign.

Sergiy Cherevaty, a spokesman for the Ukrainian forces, said on Saturday that the situation was “difficult but under control” in the city that he described as “a priority for the enemy”.

There is war in the city, the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said, warning that Ukrainian supply routes are narrow.

“The Russians may have intended to surround the Ukrainians in Bakhmut, but the Ukrainian command has indicated that they may leave rather than risk a siege,” ISW said on Saturday.

Ukraine and Russia since the summer have fought hard for the city, its symbolic value outweighed its military value.


Russian separatists in the Donetsk region posted a video that appeared to show Wagner’s fighters in the northern town of Bakhmut, taking control of the Stupki railway station.

Wagner, a private army led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, took center stage in the battle for the city, which showed competition with the regular Russian army.

On Friday, Prigozhin said that his soldiers “surrounded” Bakhmut, and only one road remained under Ukrainian control.

Prigozhin for weeks announced the advance of his men in the eastern city.

Prigozhin often posts videos of himself with clients, on the ground or in a fighter jet, in contrast to Russian leaders who have been criticized for avoiding the front line.

In a rare exception, Russia on Saturday released a video of defense minister Sergei Shoigu inspecting troops on the front lines of Ukraine.

The ministry said Sergei Shoigu visited a command post in southern Donetsk without specifying exactly where or when.

He was seen traveling in a helicopter and talking to a soldier in front of destroyed buildings.

The ISW think tank said that Shoigu went there “probably to assess the huge losses of Russia in Vugledar and the possibility of making another attack in this direction”.

Zaporizhzhia ‘stop’

Although the center of the war is in eastern Ukraine, the death toll in this week’s attack on an apartment building in southern Zaporizhzhia has now reached 13.

Zaporizhzhia is one of four regions – along with Donetsk, Lugansk and Kherson – that Russia says it annexed but does not fully control.

However, the Moscow forces have been holding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant since March 4, 2022.

Britain says the Ukrainian army is under pressure to defend Bakhmut

The plant has made headlines and revived fears of a nuclear disaster similar to the Chernobyl disaster that rocked Ukraine in 1986.

The exiled mayor of Energodar, where the center is located, told AFP that Russia was using the plant as a “nuclear shield” for its troops and equipment.

Kyiv and Moscow have blamed each other for the attack on the plant and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sent observers there.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that Russia had taken nuclear power “sustainable” last year, and “turned the territory of the (power plant) into a military training ground”.

Zelensky on Saturday also met with the president of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola, who pushed for Ukraine to be allowed to start EU negotiations this year.

The United States announced $400 million in security aid for Ukraine on Friday as it revealed more weapons for Kyiv’s forces.


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