Ukraine: Russian army still trying to surround Bakhmout, according to kyiv | War in Ukraine

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Ukraine: Russian army still trying to surround Bakhmut, according to Kiev | War in Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers attempt to defend the city of Bakhmout, which the Russian paramilitary group Wagner claims to have “virtually surrounded”.

Russian troops continue their efforts to encircle the iconic city of Bakhmout , epicenter of the war in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian army said on Sunday, which however assured that it had repelled new attacks.

In its daily report, the Ukrainian General Staff claimed that more than 130 enemy attacks were countered in the past 24 hours in several sectors of the front, including Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut and Avdiivka.

The enemy continues its attempts to encircle the city of Bakhmout, he continued without giving further details.

Villages north and west of Bakhmut were attacked, Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesman for the Eastern Grouping of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, told CNN on Saturday.

Earlier during the day, he said that the situation in Bakhmout was difficult but under control.

The battle for Bakhmout, an industrial city whose strategic importance is disputed, has been going on since the x27;last summer. The city has become a symbol, as it has been at the heart of the fighting between Russians and Ukrainians for months.

The paramilitary group Wagner, on the front line in Bakhmout, said on Friday that it had “virtually surrounded” the city and called on President Volodymyr Zelensky to order the withdrawal of his troops.

Saturday, l& #x27;Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a group of American experts, has acknowledged that Russian forces have captured positions in Bakhmout that could allow them to bypass some Ukrainian defences.

“The Russians might try to encircle the Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut, but the Ukrainian command gave the signal that they would rather withdraw than risk an encirclement.

—Institute for the Study of War

On Sunday, the pro-Russian Separatist Donetsk Army, proxies to Russian forces, released a video purporting to show Wagner fighters in the northern suburb of Bakhmout, claiming that the small Stoupky railway station north of the city had been conquered.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, for his part, inspected on Saturday an advanced command post in Ukraine, in the Donetsk-South zone, without specifying the exact place or date of this visit.

This area of ​​operations concerns the sector of the city of Vougledar, where the Russian army has carried out offensives in recent weeks, without much success.

According to the American think tank ISW, this visit was obviously aimed at estimating the extent of the losses around Vougledar and the possibility of continuing an offensive in this direction.

According to images released by the Russian military on Saturday, Sergei Shoigu also attended a meeting with senior Russian officials responsible for the offensive in Ukraine, including Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov.

Deadly shootings have also been reported in the past 24 hours against residential areas, killing at least five people on the Ukrainian side, according to Ukrainian authorities.

According to a new report of the Ukrainian emergency services, the strike against a residential building in Zaporizhia, on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, meanwhile left 13 dead, including a child.

On the diplomatic front, Volodymyr Zelensky received on Saturday in Lviv, in western Ukraine, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola. Both said they hoped the opening of negotiations this year for Ukraine to join the European Union.

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, occupied for more than a year by Russian troops.

On Saturday, Zelensky also reviewed the situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, a year after it was captured by Russian forces.

The Ukrainian president denounced the hostage of the plant, the largest in Europe, and called on the West to sanction the Russian nuclear industry.

In an interview with AFP, the mayor-in-exile of the town of Energodar, where the plant is located, claimed that the facility was now shut down and had been transformed de facto in a military base where Russian forces are sheltering.

Another sign of Western support for Kiev, Joe Biden announced on Friday new military aid to the #x27;Ukraine of $400 million.

Washington has included in this aid munitions, including for the HIMARS rocket system, which Ukrainian forces have used with devastating effect on r Russian troops and logistics lines.

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