The pressure on the Ukrainian army intensifies in Bakhmout, the Russian troops continuing to progress in the northern periphery of this symbolic city. “The Ukrainian defense of the city of Bakhmout is under increasing pressure, with intense fighting in and around the city,” the British Ministry of Defense tweeted on Saturday March 4. He reported an “advance” by the “Wagner group and the regular Russian army into the northern suburbs of the city now vulnerable to attack from three sides”.
Despite a strategic importance disputed by experts, Bakhmut has become a symbol of the struggle for control of the industrial region of Donbass, which is made up of the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. Russia annexed it without ever having taken full control of it.
Wagner boss again complains about lack of ammunition
The boss of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigojine, whose men are on the front line in eastern Ukraine, has again complained of a lack of ammunition, attributing the delays in delivery to possible “treason “.
“Orders were given for delivery on February 23. But so far most of the ammunition has not been sent,” Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a post on Sunday evening on social media.
Zelensky pays tribute to the “bravery” of Ukrainian soldiers
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky paid tribute on Sunday March 5 to the “bravery” of the soldiers who are fighting the Russian army fiercely in the east of the country, at a time when they could be forced to abandon the city of Bakhmout, which has become the epicenter of a total war, and threatened with encirclement.
“I would like to pay special tribute to the bravery, strength and resilience of the soldiers fighting in the Donbass”, this region in the east of the country, Volodymyr Zelensky said in his daily message. He stressed how this battle, which for months has inflicted very heavy losses on both sides, in artillery duels and muddy trenches, was “painful and difficult”.
In its daily report, the Ukrainian general staff affirmed that “more than 130 enemy attacks” had been repelled during the last 24 hours, in several sectors of the front, in particular in Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmout and Avdiïvka. “The enemy continues its attempts to encircle the city of Bakhmout,” he continued, without further details.
The pro-Russian separatist army of Donetsk, auxiliaries to the Russian forces, released a video purporting to show fighters from the Russian paramilitary group Wagner in the northern suburb of Bakhmout, claiming that the small railway station of Stoupky, north of the city , had been conquered.
Russian Defense Minister inspects reconstruction works in Donbass
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited the area of the Russian operation in Ukraine to inspect reconstruction work in the Donbass, the Russian army said in a statement on Monday March 6. This announcement comes as the Russian army has already reported on Saturday an inspection carried out by Sergei Shoigu in a “command post” on the front in eastern Ukraine, at a time when the battle for the hotly contested city of Bakhmout.
“As part of a trip to the area of the special military operation”, Sergei Shoigu carried out inspections on the infrastructure sites already rebuilt as well as on new construction sites in Mariupol, according to the press release which does not specify the date of this visit.
In Mariupol, the minister notably visited a medical center, the emergency center and a new residential area comprising twelve buildings, the statement continued, adding that he was also presented with a report on the construction of schools in this port city. , which had been under siege for several months before falling last May. At the end of December 2022, Sergei Shoigu made two such visits to the “special operation” area in Ukraine.
Estonia: Prime Minister’s party wins legislative elections
Centre-right Prime Minister Kaja Kallas’s Reform Party won Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Estonia, which took place against the backdrop of war in Ukraine and the economic crisis. With 31.2% of the vote, Kaja Kallas’ party improved its score compared to previous elections. But it will have to, just like during the legislature which is ending, form a coalition with one or more other parties in Parliament.
“It’s much better than we expected,” Kaja Kallas told the press, while ruling out allying with the far-right EKRE party, which came second with 16.1% of the vote while some polls gave him up to 25% of voting intentions. “We have ruled out any coalition with EKRE and I stand by my words as I did in 2019,” she said.
Estonia, a country of 1.3 million people bordering Russia, has a unicameral parliament with 101 seats. A member of the European Union and NATO, the Baltic country spearheaded international calls last year for increased military aid to Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion. Estonian military aid to Ukraine currently amounts to more than 1% of its GDP, the largest contribution of any country relative to the size of their economy. “I think with such a strong mandate, that won’t change,” Kaja Kallas said on Sunday.