Dueling narritives from the Russian’s and Ukraianian’s on the fight on the ground in the Ukraine and Russia….
The fight goes on in Bakhmut….
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Here’s what we know:
Ukraine says it repelled a Russian attempt to seize a city near Bakhmut, which Moscow has sought to capture for months.
Heavy fighting and competing claims surround the key eastern city of Bakhmut.
The pace of offensives has been slower in the east.
Shifting strategy, Ukraine goes toe to toe with Russia in Bakhmut.
Ukraine rejects Russia’s claim of a deadly strike on troops in the east.
A Russian strike on a market killed two women, Ukraine says.
In the bitter cold, a Ukrainian team searches ‘not for bodies, but for souls.’
Sweden won’t violate its own laws to win Turkey’s approval of its NATO bid, its prime minister says…
The fiercely contested eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut is holding out “against all odds,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address, despite conflicting claims about the pace of Russian gains in the area on the front lines of the 10-month conflict.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- Ukrainian Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, who oversees operations on Ukraine’s bloody eastern front, visited troops defending the outskirts of Bakhmut and nearby Soledar on Sunday, Zelensky said. Syrsky was behind Ukraine’s push to expel Russian troops from the Kharkiv region in September and its earlier defense of Kyiv.
- Russian military bloggers claimed the city is close to encirclement, an assertion Ukraine has rebutted. “Although most of the city is destroyed by Russian strikes, our warriors repel constant attempts at Russian offensives there,” Zelensky said.
- The founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, may be attempting to financially exploit Ukrainian resources around Bakhmut and is using the war to connect his military forces with Russian regional officials, analysts at the Institute for the Study of War think tank said in their latest assessment. Prigozhin described the area’s vast salt and gypsum mines Saturday as “underground cities” suitable for housing large numbers of troops and tanks.
- Russia deployed “the most professional Wagner units” in its efforts to capture Soledar, Syrsky said while visiting troops defending the area, according to the Ukrainian Military Media Center Telegram channel. Syrsky said Russia did not capture Soledar and has “suffered significant losses” in the fight.
- Russia has probably deployed Su-57 “Felon” stealth combat jets, Britain’s Defense Ministry said. “These missions have likely been limited to flying over Russian territory, launching long range air-to-surface or air-to-air missiles into Ukraine,” the ministry added. It also suggested that Russia does not want to risk losing any of the sophisticated, domestically made aircraft on the battlefield. Such a loss could come with “reputational damage, reduced export prospects, and the compromise of sensitive technology,” the ministry said.
- Russian media and Moscow’s proxy officials accused Ukraine of shelling two power plants in Russian-controlled areas of the eastern Donetsk region on Sunday. Ukraine has not acknowledged reports of the attack. One person was killed in an attack on the Starobeshevskaya power plant, according to Tass, a Russian state news agency.
- Evidence does not appear to support Moscow’s claim to have killed hundreds of Ukrainian troops in a missile strike on a vocational school at Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine, with reporters visiting the scene suggesting that there was no evidence of a military presence at the school, or of casualties there. “Nobody saw a single spot of blood anywhere,” Yana Pristupa, the school’s deputy director, told the Associated Press….
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