Sunday, March 19, 2023

Ukraine Vows to Hold On to Bakhmut Despite Russian Onslaught; Mortars, Artillery and Small Arms Fire as Battle for Bakhmut Rages; Poland to Become First NATO Member to Supply Warplanes to Ukraine, UKR Repels 75 RU Attacks in Past 24 hrs, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Ukraine vows to hold on to Bakhmut despite Russian onslaught:
Ukrainian troops on Wednesday defended positions in Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine amid a relentless push by Russian forces to capture a city that has been turned into a wasteland by seven months of fighting.
Both sides claimed successes in what has become the longest-running battle since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago.
Ukrainian officials said that Ukrainian Ground Forces shot down a Russian fighter jet near Bakhmut and made gains in northern parts of the city.
Meanwhile, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the mercenary Wagner Group, which has spearheaded the Russian assault on the city, said in a social media post Wednesday that Russian forces have taken control of the settlement of Zaliznyanskoye and are expanding the encirclement of Bakhmut.
The claims couldn’t be verified.
The battle for Bakhmut intensified after Russian forces captured the nearby town of Soledar in January. Russian forces must go through Bakhmut to push deeper into parts of the Donetsk province they don’t yet control, though Western officials say that the capture of the city would have limited impact on the course of the war.
An assessment by the U.K. Defense Ministry over the weekend said that paramilitary units from the Wagner Group had seized eastern parts of Bakhmut, with a river flowing through the city marking the front line of the fighting.--->READ MORE HERE
REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura
Mortars, artillery and small arms fire as battle for Bakhmut rages:
From a mortar position behind a ridge beyond which frontline Ukrainian and Russian troops face off outside the hotly contested city of Bakhmut, a crew adjusted its weapons before firing off seven rounds.
The impact of each could be heard in the distance seconds later, while the constant boom of outgoing and incoming artillery fire filled the air on Thursday in attritional warfare that has marked the last several months in the area.
The crackle of small arms fire was also clearly audible some 1.5-2.0 km from the frontlines, not far from a road that leads from Bakhmut west into the next town Chasiv Yar - a vital exit route for Ukrainian forces who are in danger of being encircled.
"The situation (at the front) is quite difficult, but stable," said Myron, a soldier in the 80th Air Assault Brigade who declined to give his full name.
"The enemy constantly attempts to attack us, and we defend our positions quite effectively," the 37-year-old told Reuters in an underground bunker at the end of a zig-zag trench where the mortar unit sleeps, eats and stays warm.
"We've been standing here for quite a long time already, and our brigade hasn't given up any positions."
Since a major Ukrainian counter-offensive last year, the war has settled into a grinding conflict of incremental gains along a frontline stretching from the Russian border in the north to the annexed Crimean peninsula in the south. --->READ MORE HERE
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