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  • by Smriti Mathur
  • Mar 17, 2023
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Ukraine Likely Staging ‘Tactical Withdrawal’ In Bakhmut; Russian Mercenary Chief’s Rift With Officials Deepens


In a recent development, Ukraine is believed to be staging a "tactical withdrawal" from the town of Bakhmut, where Russian-backed separatists have been waging a brutal war for years. This comes amidst reports of a deepening rift between the chief of the Russian mercenary forces and officials in Moscow, further complicating the situation on the ground.

According to recent statistics, the conflict in eastern Ukraine has claimed over 13,000 lives and displaced millions since it began in 2014. Despite international efforts to broker a peace deal, fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists has continued, with both sides accusing each other of violating ceasefires and escalating tensions in the region.

The situation in Bakhmut, a strategic town located just north of the front line, has been particularly tense in recent months. Ukrainian forces have been defending the town from separatist attacks, but reports suggest that they are now withdrawing their troops in what is being described as a "tactical" move.


Meanwhile, the rift between the Russian mercenary chief and officials in Moscow appears to be deepening. This could have significant implications for the conflict in Ukraine, as the mercenary forces have played a key role in supporting the separatists and undermining Ukrainian sovereignty in the region.

As the situation in eastern Ukraine continues to evolve, it remains to be seen what impact these latest developments will have on the conflict. However, it is clear that the ongoing fighting has taken a heavy toll on the people of Ukraine, and the international community must continue to work towards a peaceful resolution that respects Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The world is on edge as reports of conflicting information from Bakhmut, a besieged city in eastern Ukraine, emerge over the weekend. The situation in Bakhmut has been a topic of concern for several months now, with Russian forces steadily encroaching on the city's territory. The latest reports indicate that the status of the city is unclear, with Ukrainian forces reportedly withdrawing from some parts of the city.


The Ukrainian commander of troops in Bakhmut, speaking on Telegram on Sunday, confirmed that there were "no decisions or orders regarding retreat." Still, the situation on the ground was "very much like hell." This statement has fueled speculation about the current state of the city and the intentions of the Ukrainian military.


The Institute for the Study of War think tank has been monitoring the situation in Bakhmut closely. According to their analysts, Ukrainian forces are conducting a "limited tactical withdrawal" from the city. However, it is still too early to assess Ukrainian intentions concerning a complete withdrawal from the city. The situation remains fluid, and it is unclear whether Ukrainian forces are indeed withdrawing from Bakhmut.


The ISW believes that Ukrainian forces are unlikely to withdraw from Bakhmut all at once. They may instead pursue a gradual fighting withdrawal to exhaust Russian forces through continued urban warfare. This approach could prove effective in wearing down the Russian military and preserving Ukrainian control of the city.


The situation in Bakhmut is of great concern to the international community, with fears that it could escalate into a full-scale conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The United States and other Western countries have already expressed their support for Ukraine, condemning Russia's actions and imposing sanctions on the country.

In response, Russia has accused the West of interference and denied any involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Despite these denials, evidence suggests that Russian forces have been providing military support to separatist rebels in the region.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has been ongoing for several years, with both sides suffering significant casualties. The situation in Bakhmut is just one example of the daily struggles faced by Ukrainian civilians and military personnel alike. The international community must come together to find a peaceful solution to this conflict and ensure the safety of those affected by it.

The conflicting reports from Bakhmut are cause for concern. The situation in the city remains unclear, and tensions are high. The international community must continue to monitor the situation closely and work towards finding a peaceful resolution to this conflict. The people of Ukraine deserve to live in peace and security, free from the threat of violence and aggression.


Ukraine’s State Nuclear Power Company Warns Russians Are Making Lists Of Items To Steal From Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

Ukraine's state nuclear power company Energoatom has sounded an alarm over alleged Russian activities at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. In a statement released on its official Telegram channel, Energoatom warned that Russian forces at the facility were marking equipment around the plant for possible theft.


"Russian occupiers are calculating probable exit scenarios from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and marking equipment that can be stolen from the station," the statement read, as reported by NBC News.

This news comes in the wake of Russia's year-long war effort in Ukraine, which has seen several skirmishes and territorial battles across the region. The Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe's largest nuclear power plant, was captured by Russian forces in March of last year and has remained under their control ever since.

The alleged Russian activities at the nuclear plant have raised serious concerns among Ukrainian officials, who fear that such actions could potentially lead to nuclear disasters. The theft of critical equipment from the plant could disrupt the delicate balance of power and infrastructure, which could have serious consequences for the region's energy security and stability.

Energoatom's warning highlights the seriousness of the situation and underscores the need for heightened vigilance and security measures to safeguard critical infrastructure. The company has called on international organizations and the global community to take note of the situation and support efforts to protect Ukraine's nuclear facilities from potential harm.


Ukraine’s Army Chief Says The Defense Of Bakhmut Should Continue

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has reached a critical juncture as the besieged city of Bakhmut finds itself surrounded by Russian forces. Despite the challenging circumstances, the head of Ukraine's armed forces, Valery Zaluzhny, has affirmed that the defense of Bakhmut should continue. In a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Zaluzhny and the commander of forces in Bakhmut, Oleksandr Syrsky, expressed their support for continuing the defensive operation and further strengthening Ukrainian positions in the city.


The situation in Bakhmut has been tenuous for several months, with both sides determined to capture and defend the industrial city. Russia's ultimate goal appears to be cutting off Ukrainian supply lines in the east, using Bakhmut as a launchpad for further military operations in bigger cities like Kramatorsk and Sloviansk. Despite the significant destruction inflicted upon Bakhmut during the conflict, neither side is willing to back down, with both committing considerable resources to the fight.

While Ukrainian analysts have downplayed the significance of Bakhmut, stating that its capture by Russian forces would not change the course of the war, the United States-based Institute for the Study of War believes that Ukraine is beginning to conduct a "limited tactical withdrawal" from the city. This withdrawal is part of a strategy to inflict as many losses on Russian forces as possible during the process.

The situation in Bakhmut is critical, with the city's fate potentially determining the outcome of the entire conflict. As such, the international community must continue to monitor the situation closely and work towards finding a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict. The people of Ukraine deserve to live in peace and security, free from the threat of violence and aggression.


The conflict in Ukraine has been ongoing for several years, with both sides suffering significant losses. The international community must work together to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict, ensuring the safety and security of civilians and military personnel alike. The ongoing violence and destruction are unacceptable, and it is crucial that all parties involved work towards a peaceful resolution.

The defense of Bakhmut must continue, according to the head of Ukraine's armed forces. While both sides are committed to the fight, it is crucial that a peaceful resolution is found to the conflict. The people of Ukraine deserve to live in peace and security, free from the threat of violence and aggression. The international community must continue to work towards a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict, and ensure the safety and security of all those affected by the violence.


Russia’s Defense Minister Visits Occupied Port City Of Mariupol

Russia’s Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu, visited the Russian-occupied port city of Mariupol on Monday, marking his first visit to the city since Russia occupied it in May last year. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Shoigu visited Mariupol to inspect the newly reconstructed infrastructure in the area.


Mariupol, which is located on the Sea of Azov, had been under siege by Russian forces for months before it fell to the occupation. The city’s buildings and infrastructure were severely damaged in the prolonged and bloody bombing campaign that ensued, leading to the deaths of over a thousand civilians, according to a UN estimate.

During his visit, the defense minister also inspected a medical center, a new residential area consisting of 12 five-story buildings, and several construction sites where schools and kindergartens are being built. Images released by the ministry showed Shoigu dressed in camouflage as he toured the new facilities.

However, reports suggest that Russia has been attempting to cover up evidence of war crimes in Mariupol that took place during the prolonged bombing campaign. The occupation authorities have also sought to erase signs of Ukrainian history and culture, changing street names and introducing the Russian curriculum in schools. This has been seen as part of Russia's broader attempt to undermine Ukrainian identity and assert its own cultural dominance in the region.

The visit by the Russian Defense Minister to Mariupol has sparked concern among Ukrainian officials, who see it as a provocative move. It is seen as a signal that Russia intends to further consolidate its control over the city and the wider region. Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has called for international support to help end the occupation of Mariupol and other parts of eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists continue to control large swathes of territory.


The situation in Mariupol remains tense, with sporadic violence and clashes between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists continuing to occur. The city remains an important economic and strategic hub, with its port serving as a key gateway to the Sea of Azov and the wider Black Sea region. The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine has caused significant damage to the city's infrastructure and economy, with many residents forced to flee their homes due to the fighting.

The visit by the Russian Defense Minister has once again highlighted the fragile nature of the ceasefire agreement that was reached between Ukraine and Russia in 2015. The agreement, known as the Minsk II accord, was designed to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine and bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict. However, the agreement has been repeatedly violated by both sides, and the conflict has continued to simmer, with no clear resolution in sight.

As the conflict in eastern Ukraine continues to rage, the international community has called on Russia to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The occupation of Mariupol and other parts of eastern Ukraine is seen as a clear violation of international law, and has been condemned by many Western countries. The situation in Mariupol remains a cause for concern, and it is unclear what the future holds for the city and the wider region.


Russia’s February Car Sales Down 62% Year-on-year, Says AEB

The Association of European Businesses (AEB) announced on Monday that car sales in Russia had experienced a significant 62.1% year-on-year drop in February, marking yet another downturn for the country's already struggling auto industry. This comes as Western sanctions continued to wreak havoc on the economy and cause serious problems for the industry.

According to the AEB, only 41,851 vehicles were sold in February 2023, compared to the 110,441 sold in February 2022. This startling drop in sales serves as a strong indicator of the challenges that the Russian auto industry continues to face

The imposition of Western sanctions last year, after Moscow ordered its troops into Ukraine, has resulted in serious repercussions for many sectors of the Russian economy, and the auto industry has been one of the hardest hit. The AEB survey indicates that car sales had already plummeted by 58.8% last year, which was an extremely challenging year for the industry.

Before the sanctions were imposed, the auto industry had relied heavily on Western investment, joint partnerships, supply chains, and parts. With the restrictions still in place, these critical components of the industry have remained seriously disrupted, making it even harder for car sales to recover.

The current situation presents a challenging predicament for the Russian auto industry, which has been struggling for some time. However, industry experts remain optimistic and believe that with time and the right measures, the industry can bounce back.

There are some factors that may help revive the sector, including the rise in global demand for electric vehicles, which could encourage Russian manufacturers to pivot towards producing EVs. Furthermore, the government has pledged to support the auto industry by offering subsidies and tax breaks to manufacturers who agree to localize production in the country.

As we move forward, it remains to be seen whether these efforts will be enough to revive the industry, but the AEB is optimistic that the Russian auto industry will find its footing once again. In the meantime, car sales in the country will continue to struggle, but it is hoped that the worst is now behind us, and we can start looking towards a brighter future for the industry.


Wagner Group Chief Says Army HQ Has Barred His Representative

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary force, claimed on Monday that his representative was denied access to the headquarters of Russia’s “special military operation.” Prigozhin alleges that he wrote to the commander of the “special military operation” regarding the “urgent need to allocate ammunition” to Wagner units fighting in Bakhmut, eastern Ukraine.

According to a Google translation of his comment on his business’ Telegram channel, Prigozhin's representative had his pass canceled and was denied entry to the group’s headquarters. The Wagner Group founder said that despite this setback, his units continue to make significant progress in the ongoing conflict, claiming that they are smashing the Armed Forces of Ukraine near Bakhmut.


Prigozhin has been vocal in his criticism of Russia’s military leaders in the past, which has caused a rift between Wagner and the Russian Defense Ministry and Kremlin. His recent statement raises questions about the relationship between Wagner and Russia's military hierarchy.

The Wagner Group, known for its use of mercenary fighters and men recruited from Russian prisons, has made steady progress in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. However, fighting in Bakhmut has been particularly intense, with Prigozhin claiming that his forces have "practically surrounded" the city.


Over the weekend, Prigozhin claimed that his fighters were being deprived of ammunition and warned that if they had to retreat from Bakhmut, the whole front line would collapse. This latest development, with his representative being denied entry to the headquarters, has added another layer of complexity to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The situation in eastern Ukraine remains tense, and the Wagner Group's involvement has only heightened the stakes. The Russian government has denied any direct involvement in the conflict, but reports suggest that the Wagner Group operates with tacit approval from the Kremlin.

As the situation continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how the conflict will play out and what role the Wagner Group will continue to play. The denial of access to the headquarters for Prigozhin's representative is just the latest development in what has been a long and bloody conflict, with no end in sight.


Fall Of Bakhmut Would Not Mean Russia Has Changed Tide Of War, Pentagon Chief Says U.S. Defense Secretary Llo

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated on Monday that the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, which has been a site of intense fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces, is of more symbolic than strategic and operational importance. While on a visit to Jordan, Austin remarked that the fall of Bakhmut would not necessarily mean that Moscow had regained the momentum in its year-long war effort.


“I think it is more of a symbolic value than it is strategic and operational value,” Austin told reporters. He also declined to speculate on when or if Bakhmut would be taken by Russian forces.

The comment from the U.S. Defense Secretary comes amid heightened tensions between Ukraine and Russia, with reports of increased military activity in the region. The fall of Bakhmut, a city located about 50 miles north of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, would be a significant blow to the Ukrainian military, which has been struggling to fend off Russian advances.

Austin's comments suggest that the U.S. is not overly concerned about the potential loss of Bakhmut and that it does not necessarily mean that Russia has gained the upper hand in the conflict. While the city is strategically located and controls an important transportation route, its fall would not be a game-changer in the conflict.

“The fall of Bakhmut won’t necessarily mean that the Russians have changed the tide of this fight,” Austin added. His statement underscores the fact that the conflict in Ukraine is far from over, and the situation remains fluid.

The situation in eastern Ukraine has been a source of tension between Russia and the West for years, with Moscow denying any direct involvement in the conflict. However, the presence of Russian troops and support for separatist rebels has been widely documented, and the conflict has claimed thousands of lives.

As tensions continue to rise in the region, it remains to be seen how the situation will play out and what impact the fall of Bakhmut, if it happens, will have on the broader conflict. The comment from Austin suggests that the U.S. is closely monitoring the situation but is not overly concerned about the outcome of the battle for Bakhmut.


Donetsk In Eastern Ukraine Comes Under Heavy Shelling

Donetsk, a city in eastern Ukraine, has come under heavy shelling with a school in Kramatorsk being destroyed during missile strikes, according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk regional military administration. The attack took place last night, and Kyrylenko detailed the towns and settlements that were hit in Donetsk overnight.

The missile strike on Kramatorsk destroyed the school, and although there were no known casualties as yet, the attack is believed to have caused widespread damage to the area. In addition to this, several other settlements including Dachne, Vuhledar, and Avdiivka were hit, causing significant damage to various administrative buildings, cultural institutions, apartments, and houses.

In a military update, Ukraine’s armed forces have accused Russia of focusing its main offensive actions on Donetsk, saying that in the last 24 hours, Ukrainian soldiers had fought back over 95 attacks in the area. They stated that Russia continued to conduct “strikes, bombard civilian objects and homes, attempting to destroy our nation’s critical infrastructure.” Russia, on the other hand, has denied targeting civilian objects.

The situation in Donetsk remains tense, with the ongoing conflict between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists showing no signs of abating. The conflict, which began in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea, has already claimed thousands of lives and caused widespread destruction in the region. The recent attacks on civilian targets in Donetsk have only served to heighten tensions between the two sides, with fears that the violence could escalate further.

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