April 19, 2024

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War in Ukraine, day 320 | Two killed in a blast at a fighting market in the east

War in Ukraine, day 320 |  Two killed in a blast at a fighting market in the east

(Moscow) A Russian airstrike hit a market in the village of Shevchenkov in northeastern Ukraine on Monday, killing at least two people, local officials said, as fighting continued in Moscow.


“Six people injured in rocket attack on Shevchenkov. Two more died,” Kharkiv regional governor Oleg Sinekopov said on Telegram, posting photos of firefighters in the rubble and burning shops.

Photo by Sergey Bobok, Agence France-Presse

Rescue workers at the blast site in Shevchenko.

In Kherson, in the south, Governor Yaroslav Yanushevich said one person was killed and another was wounded in a Russian bombardment that hit a residential area.

In the east, Russian troops carried out a “massive bombardment” of Kurakivka, which injured at least two people and damaged about 20 houses, Governor Pavlo Kyrilenko said.

According to the Ukrainian president, two people have died and ten others have been injured in the past 24 hours across the country.

Photo by CLODAGH KILCOYNE, REUTERS

A view of a building in Chiversk, Donetsk Oblast, destroyed by a Russian strike

The Ukrainian military, for its part, has confirmed that Bakhmaut, a town in eastern Ukraine, is a “hot spot on the front” where “heavy fighting is taking place”.

“The enemy has concentrated maximum combat-ready forces there, including Wagner’s units,” said Sergei Tserevati, a spokesman for the army’s Eastern Command, a paramilitary group whose mercenaries are fighting Russian troops.

On Sunday, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Khanna Maliarum reported a “very difficult” situation in Solader, 15 kilometers northeast of Baghmouth.

According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russia is preparing new attacks on the country’s energy system as temperatures drop.

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The clashes come after a unilateral 36-hour ceasefire ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin over Orthodox Christmas on Friday and Saturday. However, hostilities continued during this conflict, but with less intensity.

The Prorussians claim control of a village near Bagmouth

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region said on Monday they had taken control of a village near Bakhmoud.

The Bakhmoutské region was “liberated by the Russian Armed Forces”, referring to separatists in the region, whose annexation Moscow claims.

AFP was unable to verify these independent source claims.

In a statement posted on social networks, the Wagner Group, led by a businessman close to the Kremlin, said the village had already been “liberated” by its men last month.

The village of Bakhmoutské, located northeast of Bakhmout, was once known for its vineyards and salt mines and had about 70,000 inhabitants before the Russian offensive began last February. It is now a hot spot on the forehead.

Pakmoutske is next to the town of Soledar, the scene of heavy fighting.

According to many analysts, the reports illustrate the growing rivalry between the Russian Ministry of Defense on the one hand and the Wagner group on the other.

In September, Russia claimed annexation of the Donetsk region and three other Ukrainian regions, following referendums not recognized by Kiev and the international community.

“Prolong the Suffering”

The delivery of armored infantry and other weapons to Ukraine, announced by several Western countries last week, will “perpetuate the suffering” of Ukrainians and will not “change” the Kremlin’s balance of power.

Photo INTS KALNINS, REUTERS

“Fundamentally, these distributions cannot and will not change anything […] These deliveries can only prolong the suffering of the Ukrainian people,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“Europe, NATO and the United States have already poured tens of billions of dollars into Ukraine and arms supplies,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

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“Fundamentally, these distributions cannot and will not change anything […] “These deliveries can only prolong the suffering of the Ukrainian people,” he added.

Last week, the United States announced major new military aid to Ukraine worth more than $3 billion, including 50 Bradley-class armored personnel carriers and dozens of other armored vehicles.

Berlin, for its part, has said it wants to send 40 “Mortar” armored vehicles, light armored vehicles designed for troop transport, and a Patriot anti-aircraft defense battery to the Ukrainian army in the first quarter of 2023.

France also said it would send an unspecified number of AMX-10 RC light battle tanks.

Since the start of the Russian offensive against Ukraine in February 2022, the West has supported Kiev by providing financial and military support, particularly artillery.

Ukrainian officials have been demanding heavy tanks that could be used in offensive phases, but its allies have so far refused to do so, fearing it would spark an escalation with Moscow.