Friday, March 17, 2023

Ukraine, Russia Gird for a Decisive Spring Campaign After a Bloody Winter; Ukraine Holds Russia Back in Tense Luhansk Oblast; RU Forces Can’t Advance in S. Ukraine; Ukraine Repels More Than 100 Russian Attacks Over Past 24 hrs, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photographs and video by Manu Brabo for The WSJ 
WSJ: Ukraine, Russia Gird for a Decisive Spring Campaign After a Bloody Winter:
Exhausted by winter combat that has resulted in heavy casualties but few significant changes to the front line, Ukraine and Russia are preparing for spring offensives that both sides hope will shift the course of the war.
As the muddy ground dries up, unpaved roads and fields will become passable again in the coming weeks, first in Ukraine’s south and then in the east, enabling both countries’ militaries to attempt breakthroughs with mobile mechanized units.
Bled by the monthslong defense of the eastern city of Bakhmut, the Ukrainian military is training tens of thousands of fresh troops, including in camps operated abroad by the U.S. and European allies, for three new army corps expected to take part in the spring advances.
Kyiv is also receiving a large influx of Western-made heavy weapons, including Leopard 2 tanks, Bradley and Stryker fighting vehicles and Paladin and Archer self-propelled howitzers, replenishing the equipment it lost over a year that saw the most intense fighting in Europe since World War II. It is the first time Ukraine is deploying such Western-made tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to the battlefield.
The offensive is “a question of months—one-and-a-half, two, two-and-a-half months away,” said Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “We are accumulating our resources.” Seeking to maintain an element of surprise, he and other Ukrainian officials declined to discuss where along the 530-mile-long active front line Ukraine may seek to strike.
Russia, meanwhile, has also gathered forces as it attempts to break Ukrainian defenses across the eastern Donetsk region, where Bakhmut is located. It has made slow gains in Donetsk while incurring heavy losses during the winter.
“The advances that Russia has managed to achieve, every 100 to 200 meters into terrain scorched by artillery, have come at the cost of covering the ground with the corpses of their troops,” said Pavlo Kyrylenko, chief of the Ukrainian military administration that controls nearly half of Donetsk. “We don’t have such a manpower resource, and even if we did, nobody would accept using it like cannon fodder this way.” --->READ MORE HERE
Photo:Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko via REUTER
Ukraine holds Russia back in tense Luhansk Oblast:
Ukrainian defenders have managed to repel Russian occupation forces in Luhansk Oblast despite being under constant attack, regional governor Serhiy Hayday said on national television on March 14.
"On the Bilohorivka section of the front, the enemy is using artillery of various calibers, tanks and mortars, various weapons, as well as aviation, and is constantly trying to attack the positions of our defenders," he said.
“The situation is equally difficult on the Kreminna and Svatove sections, but the enemy is not making any progress there. There are no significant advances or anything else.”
Hayday also said that the Russian troops are suffering significant losses in Luhansk Oblast every day.
"They lose up to a company of soldiers per day, but this does not reduce the number of offensive waves," he said.
“These waves are constantly coming one after the other in order to somehow exhaust our defenders, push through them, and move on to either Kharkiv or Donetsk oblasts.”
The situation in Luhansk Oblast remains difficult despite Ukrainian Armed Forces controlling the situation, Hayday said. The most difficult spot is near the town of Kreminna, he said. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

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

+++++Russian forces can’t advance in southern Ukraine+++++

+++++General Staff: Ukraine repels more than 100 Russian attacks over past 24 hours on March 13+++++

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