Moment Ukrainian forces charge, inflicting losses in Battle of Bakhmut
Moment Ukrainian troops storm across no man’s land firing assault rifles as Kyiv inflicts ‘significant losses’ on Russian forces with hundreds more killed in battle of Bakhmut
- Russia and Ukraine remain locked in a battle for the city of Bakhmut in Donetsk
- Wagner Group mercenaries struggling to break tide of Ukrainian resistance
Body camera footage shows the moment Ukrainian soldiers burst forward in a charge across no man’s land, pinning down enemies with gunfire before breaching a position near Bakhmut.
The 24th Assault Battalion Aidar are on the frontline of the city, fighting for control of the region which has been the longest-running and bloodiest battle of Moscow’s invasion.
Ukraine said today that Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, which has claimed to be leading Moscow’s charge for the industrial city, was pushing forward into the industrial city.
‘Wagner assault units are advancing from several directions, trying to break through our troops’ defensive positions and move to the centre of the city,’ the Ukrainian military said in a morning briefing. ‘In fierce battles, our defenders are inflicting significant losses on the enemy.’
Meanwhile, in scenes that have been described by infantry as ‘worse than Stalingrad’, Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin also acknowledged that his forces were coming up against determined resistance.
‘The situation in Bakhmut is difficult, very difficult. The enemy is battling for every metre,’ Prigozhin said in a post on social media.
Ukrainian forces use suppressive fire to push up to a damaged house around the Bakhmut area
The squad move up to the building and look around to see damaged homes around the city
Soldiers stack up outside of the building and prepare to breach and enter the position
Prigozhin said: ‘The closer we are to the city centre, the more difficult the battles get and the more artillery there is… Ukrainians are throwing endless reserves [at the fight].’
Ukraine has said its strategy with the defence of Bakhmut is to degrade Russia’s ability to launch any further offensive in the coming months and buy time to ready its bid to recapture ground.
READ MORE: Are Putin’s ‘human wave’ attacks a deliberate ploy to slaughter Wagner mercenaries? JUSTIN BRONK on the Battle of Bakhmut and why Russia’s winter offensive has achieved little meaningful progress
Russian ‘human wave’-style attacks have rapidly depleted forces in recent months.
Last week, elite armoured divisions were reported to have mutinied, tasked with another suicidal drive forward in Vuhledar, also in Donetsk.
The Ukrainian defenders claimed last week that Russia’s best units are pinned down in Bakhmut and said that they intend to continue to hold on, despite NATO warnings the city could fall within days.
Russia’s Wagner Group has reportedly been able to open recruitment centres to maintain the push into Bakhmut, despite intelligence that Prigozhin has likely lost access to recruiting from Russian prisons due to his ongoing clashes with the Russian MoD.
Russian forces have been conducting assault operations on the city of Bakhmut since August 2022.
By December, Zelensky reported that Russian shelling had turned the city into ‘burnt ruins’.
The slow war of attrition pushed both sides into murky, sodden trenches through the winter, hammered by artillery and trapped in close quarter battle (CQB) engagements.
Kyiv has cautioned that the city’s fall would give Russian forces a clear path into the contested Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, which the Kremlin claimed to annex last year.
The victory for Putin would also offer a symbolic victory after being largely repelled from Ukraine in the early months of the war.
In mid-January, Russian forces celebrated the capture of the small town of Soledar to Bakhmut’s north.
The Ukrainian retreat at the end of January, deemed necessary to ‘preserve our personnel’, edges Russian forces further west, but does not concede the northern flank of the city.
The Russian victory over Soledar came at the cost of ‘colossal resources in lives and equipment’, said military command spokesperson Colonel Sergei Cherevaty.
Pictured: A map showing rough troop position around the besieged city of Bakhmut. Russian forces are closing in from the north, east and south leaving Ukraine’s defenders with just one route (west) to escape – across a muddy quagmire. As Russian forces move in, the window to retreat is closing, but Ukraine is determined to continue its defence of the symbolic city
Ukrainian serviceman makes the victory sign as he moves towards Bakhmut, 11 March
A Ukrainian serviceman looks on from a BMP-2 approaching the city of Bakhmut, 11 March
A volunteer prepares ammunition to fire at Russian positions near Bakhmut on 11 March
A Ukrainian Volunteer Army soldier uses his mobile phone near the frontline on Saturday 11
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now more than a year old, has seen arms imports into Europe almost double in 2022, driven by massive shipments to Kyiv, which has become the world’s third-largest arms destination, researchers said Monday.
‘The invasion has really caused a significant surge in demand for arms in Europe, which will have further effect and most likely will lead to increased arms imports by European states,’ Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), told AFP.
Russia’s attack has had ‘devastating’ consequences for children in residential institutions, with thousands transferred to occupied territories or to Russia, Human Rights Watch also said Monday.
‘This brutal war has starkly shown the need to end the perils faced by children who were institutionalised,’ said Bill Van Esveld, associate children’s rights director at the New York-based organisation.
At least several thousand children have been transferred to Russia or occupied territories, the report said.
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