Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine is proceeding 'successfully', Moscow says
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Russia on Tuesday claimed the “success” of its recent offensive in eastern Ukraine, at a time when Kyiv expects a large Russian attack and demands that the The West is increasing and accelerating its military aid.
“Currently, the fighting is progressing successfully in the areas” of Bakhmout and Vougledar, said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, according to a press release published after a meeting with the executives of the army and his ministry.
He cited the recent conquests of seven localities including Soledar, a neighboring town of Bakhmout and that the Ukrainian forces surrendered in January.
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Shoigu also warned the West against increasing aid to Ukraine, which he said could “lead to an unpredictable level of escalation” in the conflict.
Americans and Europeans recently decided to send heavy tanks to the Ukrainian army so that it can better oppose a Russian offensive and organize its own.
The United States also promised weapons with a range of up to 150 km, which Kyiv demanded so that it could strike deep behind the front at Russian ammunition depots and supply lines.
< p>Saturday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted that the situation was “complicating” on the front, in particular in Bakhmout, which he had earlier sworn to defend “as long as possible”.
The Russian army, supported by mercenaries from the Wagner group, has been trying since the summer to seize Bakhmout, a city largely destroyed and where the two belligerents have suffered heavy losses.
Since January, the Russian army meets with success on the ground and hopes to besiege the city, today largely destroyed, or to force the Ukrainian troops to retreat. The capture of this city is supposed to open the way to an offensive towards Kramatorsk, the main city of the Donbass under Ukrainian control.
Moscow has also been on the offensive in recent weeks at Vougledar, a railway junction serving the South and Eastern Ukraine.