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Ukraine news: Russian advance stalls in Bakhmut

KIEV, Ukraine –

Russia’s advance appears to have stalled in Moscow’s campaign to capture the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, a leading think tank said in its assessment of the longest land battle of the war.

The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said there were no confirmed advances by Russian forces in Bakhmut. Russian forces and units of the Kremlin-controlled Wagner Group continued ground attacks in the city, but there was no evidence they had made any progress, ISW said late Saturday.

The report cited Serkhi Cherevat, a spokesman for the eastern group of Ukraine’s armed forces, who said that fighting in the Bakhmut region this week was more intense than last week. According to Cherevat, 23 clashes took place in the city during the previous 24 hours.

The ISW report comes after claims of Russian advances earlier this week. Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Saturday that fighters from the Kremlin-controlled Wagner Group had captured much of eastern Bakhmut, where a river runs through the town that now marks the front line of the fighting. The assessment emphasizes that the Russian attack will be difficult to withstand without more significant personnel losses.

The mining town of Bakhmut is located in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, one of four regions of Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally annexed last year. The Russian military launched a campaign to take control of Bakhmut in August, with staggering casualties on both sides. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky promised not to back down.

In its latest report on Sunday, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Sunday that the impact of Russia’s heavy losses in Ukraine varied dramatically across the country. The ministry’s intelligence update said the major cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg remain “relatively unscathed,” particularly among members of Russia’s elite. In contrast, death rates as a percentage of the population in many eastern regions of Russia are “30 to 40 times higher than in Moscow.”

The report highlights that ethnic minorities are often the hardest hit. In the southern Astrakhan region, for example, “75 percent of the victims come from the minority Kazakhs and Tatars.”

Russia’s growing casualties are reflected in the loss of government control over the country’s information sector, ISW notes. The UC said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed “infighting in the Kremlin’s inner circle” and that the Kremlin has effectively ceded control of the country’s information space and Putin cannot easily regain control.

ISW considers Zakharova’s comments, made at a Moscow forum devoted to “practical and technological aspects of information and knowledge warfare,” as “remarkable” and consistent with long-standing assessments of the “deteriorating Kremlin regime and” think tank. dynamics of information space management”.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, Russian attacks have killed at least five people and wounded seven others in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Kherson regions over the past day, local Ukrainian authorities said Sunday morning.

The Governor of Donetsk, Pavlo Kirilenko, said that two people were killed in the region, one in the town of Kostiantynovka, and one in the village of Tonenke. Four more civilians were injured.

Local officials in southern Kherson province confirmed that Russian forces fired 29 rounds into Ukrainian-controlled territory on Saturday, and residential areas in the regional capital Kherson came under fire three times. Three people were killed and three others were injured in the state.

Kharkiv, Chukhuiv and Kupiansk regions came under fire in the northeastern Kharkiv province of Ukraine, but no casualties were reported among the civilian population.

Vitaly Kim, the head of Ukraine’s southern Mykolaiv province, said Sunday morning that the town of Ochakov, located at the mouth of the Dnieper River, came under artillery fire early Sunday morning. Cars were set on fire, private houses and high-rise buildings were damaged. There is no information about the victims.

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