Thursday, January 12, 2023

Russia Gains Ground in East Ukraine as Fight for Bakhmut Intensifies; Ukraine Reinforces Bakhmut as Fierce Russian Assaults Continue; Kyiv Oblast Head Checks Its Defence: "Lines are being fortified"; Ukrainian Defenders Hit Command Post, Cluster of Russian Personnel and Positions of Anti-Aircraft Systems, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

WSJ: Russia Gains Ground in East Ukraine as Fight for Bakhmut Intensifies:
Russian forces made headway in gaining control of a strategic Ukrainian town on Tuesday as they continued efforts to encircle nearby Bakhmut, an eastern city the Ukrainians have fiercely defended for months despite a Russian onslaught.
Russian troops and members of the Wagner Group paramilitary force now most likely control the majority of Soledar, 6 miles northeast of Bakhmut, the U.K.’s Defense Ministry said.
Footage circulated on social media on Monday appeared to show Wagner fighters engaging in small-arms combat in central Soledar, near the town administration building. Wagner owner Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, confirmed that Wagner was battling for the town administration.
Capturing Soledar would allow Russian forces to sever Ukrainian lines of communication and mount another offensive from the north on Bakhmut, control of which remains its main strategic priority and a symbolic target for its forces after months on the defensive across Ukraine’s east and south.
But the U.K. said that despite the growing pressure on Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut, their entrenched defensive lines and continued control over supply lines make Russia’s encirclement unlikely in the short term.
In his evening address on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that Russia was concentrating its efforts on seizing Soledar, a town with a prewar population of 10,000 people that now lies destroyed and mostly abandoned. He said Russia stands to gain little even if it manages to capture Soledar.
“What did Russia want to achieve there? Everything is destroyed, and there is almost no life there,” he said. “Thousands of their people are lost: the ground beneath Soledar is [filled] with the occupiers’ corpses and the scars from bombardment.”
Russian military bloggers, who largely back Moscow’s line but often provide an unvarnished view of the battlefield that differs from tightly controlled Kremlin propaganda, have been reporting for days that Russia had broken through in Soledar. --->READ MORE HERE
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
NY POST: Ukraine reinforces Bakhmut as fierce Russian assaults continue:
Fierce fighting continued around Bakhmut, Ukraine, on Monday, with Ukrainian forces sending reinforcements to counter relentless assaults by Russian paramilitaries trying to capture mines in the region.
Ukrainian officials said Monday that additional forces were being sent to Soledar, five miles northeast of Bakhmut, where the fighting has been particularly bloody.
“The enemy again made a desperate attempt to storm the city of Soledar from different directions and threw the most professional units of the Wagnerites into battle,” the Ukrainian military said in a statement.
Bakhmut has been the focus of Russian efforts for months, spearheaded by the Wagner Group — a quasi-state paramilitary group financed by Oligarch and Putin crony Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said Monday that Wagner has thrown waves of troops at Soledar, despite a successful defense by Ukrainian forces.
“The enemy literally step over the corpses of their own soldiers, using massed artillery, MLRS systems and mortars,” she said. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Kyiv Oblast Head checks its defence: "Lines are being fortified"+++++

+++++Ukrainian defenders hit command post, cluster of Russian personnel and positions of anti-aircraft systems+++++

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