March 21, 2023


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Russian forces advance and prepare counteroffensive in Bagmouth, Ukraine

I amUkrainian forces were preparing for a counter-offensive on Sunday, with one of their commanders describing it as “essential” to continue defending Baghmouth against a series of attacks from Moscow, to “buy time” in anticipation of the move.

Ukrainians are preparing for Sunday’s counteroffensive, which they say should not take long in Baghmoud region, a city in eastern Ukraine where Russian forces have been trying to recoup heavy losses since the summer.

The Russian military has meanwhile continued its offensive in other regions: At least three people were killed and two wounded in an early-morning strike in the southern city of Kherson, which was liberated by Kiev’s military in November after months of fighting, officials said. profession.

In Bagmouth, the current center of the conflict, Evguéni Prigojine, head of the paramilitary group Wagner, reported the latest progress of his men fighting on the front lines.

Read more War in Ukraine: “Russians want to prolong war” in Bagmouth

“This is the municipal administration building, the administrative center of the city,” he said Saturday, pointing from the roof of one building to another, an example of the improvisation.

“It’s one kilometer two hundred”, “this is the area, the fighting is going on,” he said in a video broadcast by his company Concorde’s press service, adding comments that could not be immediately verified by an independent source.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that Ukrainian forces “repelled more than 100 enemy attacks” in key combat zones.

A counterattack is “not far away.”

On the same day, the British Ministry of Defense announced that “during the last four days” the Wagner Group had “taken control of most of the eastern part” of Bagmouth.

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“Ukrainian forces control the western part of the city and have demolished the main bridges over the river,” the ministry said.

Read more War in Ukraine: At Bagmouth, Russian Army “stepped over its corpses to strike back”

“The real heroes are the defenders of the eastern region on their shoulders,” praised Oleksandr Chirsky, commander of the Ukrainian ground forces.

“We have to get time to accumulate reserves and launch a counter-offensive, which is not far off,” he said, as quoted by the military news service.

“At the beginning of the war, we didn’t have drones. The missions were very complicated and less effective. But in the summer we started getting drones and other equipment. Today we are very capable,” said the pilot of one of three MI-8 attack helicopters conducting a raid against a target near Bagmouth. Pedro told AFP.

Parody of Prigogine

The Russians have been trying for weeks to encircle the city, home to about 70,000 people before the conflict, and have succeeded in cutting off several important roads for supplies to Ukrainian soldiers.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stepanychyna admitted in an interview with JTD that “it is becoming difficult for us to resist and deter” the forces in Baghmouth.

“We estimate that the Russian army has already lost 150,000 soldiers in its military offensives on our soil since last year. The human mass of its infantry is a formidable weapon that seems inexplicable in scale and time,” he said.

Read more War in Ukraine: Is the line between Wagner and the Kremlin fraying?

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While observers doubt the strategic importance of Baghmoud, the battle – the longest since the Russian offensive began a year ago – has symbolic value for both Kiev and Moscow, which wants more victories. Humiliating setbacks.

“The most important thing is to get the right amount of ammunition and move forward,” Evgeny Prigozhin said in his video, hammering the Russian military line in apparent conflict, especially for getting more ammunition.

He again publicly attacked Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov, ironically calling them “exceptional military leaders”.