Russian forces attacked eastern Ukraine’s settlements from the ground as well as the air on Thursday in support of Kremlin’s seemingly scaled back ambition to protect only large swathes of Ukrainian lands that it had claimed during the conflict.
According to Tatiana Ignatchenko (a spokesperson for the regional administration), fighting was ongoing along the whole line of demarcation within the Donetsk Region, with Avdiivka, the frontline, being shelled on Thursday morning by Russian tanks.
Russia sent more troops near Lysychansk to take the village of Bilohorivka. The governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk Region said that the Russians had deployed additional troops, and a commander of a fought over settlement spoke of an increasing Russian air offensive.
The evening communique by Ukraine’s military command stated that Russian artillery had attacked the civilian infrastructure of the cities of Kupiansk, Zolochiv (Kharkiv Region) and Ochakiv (Mykolaiv Region).
Washington stated that Russia had released Brittney Griner, the U.S. player of basketball, in exchange for Viktor Bout, the Russian arms dealer.
According to the White House, the swap of prisoner would not alter its commitment to Ukraine’s people.
Russian President Vladimir Putin made contradicting statements about the goals of war after his February 24th invasion. However, it is now evident that Russia wants to expand its borders. This contrasts with the comments he made during the beginning of “special military operations,” where he stated that Moscow did not intend to occupy Ukrainian territory.
Bilohorivka, one of only two places in Luhansk under Ukrainian control is part of eastern Donbass industrial area that Russia claims to be its.
On Thursday, the Kremlin stated that it is still determined to secure at least the majority of territories in eastern and southern Ukraine declared by Moscow as part of Russia. However, the Kremlin appeared to be giving up on seizing any other territory west or northeast of Ukraine which has been regained with a slow reversal in early Russian gains.
Some villagers returned home to their homes that were destroyed or reduced to rubble during the Ukrainian invasion of Posad-Pokrovske, in the Kherson Region. They are now surrounded by downed telephone poles and used munitions.
On Wednesday, Putin stated that Russia has already reached a “significant outcome” through the acquisition of new territories – this refers to the annexed four partially occupied areas in September which Kyiv as well as most United Nations members condemned illegally.
Putin warned that the conflict could become long and difficult. He said Russia made the Sea of Azov their “internal ocean”. It was bounded in Russia by Russian-controlled territories in the south of Ukraine, including Crimea. This was his aspiration, he said. He was referring to Peter the Great (17th-18th century warrior tsar) with whom he had compared himself in past years.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian president, says that his troops will ultimately drive Russia out of all captured territories. This includes the annexed Crimea Peninsula between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea.
The assault on Bakhmut, a settlement in Donetsk that borders Luhansk killed nine civilians. Reuters witnesses that the Ukrainian forces responded with rocket launcher barrages.
According to the Russian governor of Sevastopol (a major port and largest city in Crimea), a Russian navy force shot down an unmanned Ukrainian drone on Thursday.
This week’s twin air strikes against Russian bases on Russian soil caused Moscow to suffer a bad reputation. It also raised concerns about Russia’s defenses. As attention turned towards drones and the conflict between neighbors, it was revealed that the attacks were carried out by two different aircraft.
Russian-installed officials summoned combative-aged men to mobilise in Melitopol, Ukraine, in the Zaporizhzhia area. This is a route that leads into Crimea.
According to the General Staff, Russia launched numerous missile and air strikes since Wednesday.
Russian soldiers, hundreds of miles from Ukraine’s border, were training in the winter weather by participating in exercises in Moscow’s close ally Belarus.
Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, the President, relied upon Russian troops two years back to suppress a popular rebellion and has now allowed his country be used as a staging area for Russia’s invasion.
He’s kept his army out of the war, but Moscow has been showing increasing interest in Belarus in recent weeks.
According to Ukraine, thousands of Russian soldiers have been deployed to Belarus in October. Belarusian authorities are now expressing concern about terrorism by partisans from across the border.