Thursday, March 16, 2023

Ukraine Keeps Up Defense of Bakhmut; Putin Modernizing Crumbling 60-year-old Soviet Tanks for Ukraine War; Ukrainian Forces Repel 102 Russian Attacks; Heart-Stopping Moment a Ukrainian Suicide Drone Hunts Down a Russian Tank, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Sergey Shestak/AFP/Getty Images
WSJ: Ukraine Keeps Up Defense of Bakhmut as Zelensky Lauds Soldier Executed by Russians:
Kyiv has doubled down on preventing Russian forces from taking the eastern city as spring offensives loom
Ukraine’s forces continued to defend the embattled eastern city of Bakhmut on Monday as President Volodymyr Zelensky posthumously gave the nation’s highest award to a Ukrainian soldier who had been filmed saying “Glory to Ukraine” before he was executed by Russian troops.
After initial errors, Ukrainian authorities identified the soldier as Oleksandr Matsiyevsky, a sniper in the 119th Territorial Defense Brigade from the northern region of Chernihiv. A video released by a unit affiliated with Russia’s Wagner paramilitary organization showed him smoking next to what seemed like a freshly dug grave.
When a Russian soldier demanded Mr. Matsiyevsky take off the Ukrainian blue-and-yellow shoulder patch, he refused and responded with “Glory to Ukraine!” He was immediately cut down by a volley of automatic gunfire, with a voice off-camera saying in Russian “What glory to Ukraine? Die,” followed by an expletive.
“This is a man that will be known to all Ukrainians. This is a man who will be remembered forever—for his bravery, and for his confidence in Ukraine,” Mr. Zelensky said as he announced that he was awarding Mr. Matsiyevsky with the title of Hero of Ukraine.
The execution video dates to Dec. 30, and Mr. Matsiyevsky’s body was returned to Ukraine last month, the Security Service of Ukraine said. The agency added that it is looking to identify the perpetrators. Wagner’s owner Yevgeny Prigozhin, when queried about the video, has responded by asking for proof that Wagner had been involved. Some social-media channels affiliated with Wagner said that the video was genuine and defended the execution.
Mr. Matsiyevsky was killed during the monthslong defense of Bakhmut, a city with the prewar population of 70,000 that has emerged as the bloodiest battleground of the war. Wagner has been trying to storm it since last July, and in recent weeks put Ukrainian defenders in an increasingly precarious position, capturing Bakhmut’s eastern third and encroaching upon the two remaining supply routes.
Despite calls by several Western officials and some Ukrainian commanders to pull back so as to preserve combat forces needed for a spring offensive and to avoid potential encirclement, Mr. Zelensky last week doubled down on the strategy of holding Bakhmut. He said that the commander of Ukrainian armed forces, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, and the commander of ground forces, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, have recommended that they keep fighting for the city. --->READ MORE HERE
NY POST: Putin modernizing crumbling 60-year-old Soviet tanks for Ukraine war:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has resorted to retrofitting hundreds of decades-old Soviet tanks to be battle-ready — as the country’s stockpile of modern tanks dwindles.
Andrey Gurulev, a member of the Russian parliament, released a video Saturday showing his recent visit to a repair plant outside the remote city of Chita that has been tasked with modernizing 800 obsolete T-62M tanks, reported the Russian outlet
The video posted by Gurulev on his Telegram channel shows factory workers fixing up rusted-out battle tanks dating back to the times of Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev.
Guruvel says in the footage that the personnel at the 103rd Armored Tank Repair Plant are working around the clock “to transform tanks that are more than 50 years old into modern normal machines capable of carrying out objectives and meet challenges on the front lines.”
According to the pro-Putin politician, the “ancient” tanks arriving at the facility “looking worse for wear” are being fully overhauled, from their engines to their communication systems and controls.
“Now it’s a totally different tank that can work,” Guruvel boasted.
The elected official added that the revamped tanks are being shipped out to the battlefields in Ukraine. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

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

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