Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President, met with Ukrainian troops Tuesday in Bakhmut. This was the site of intense fighting since Russia invaded Ukraine. He praised their courage, resilience, and strength as artillery boomed behind them.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, praised the courage and self-denial of his troops in Ukraine. However, he did it at an event in an elegant and glittering hall at Moscow’s Kremlin, and not on the ground.
As the conflict rages into its 10th month, both leaders tried to increase morale before winter arrives.
Zelenskky met military personnel in Bakhmut in dimly lit buildings — perhaps a former factory — where he called Bakhmut “the hottest spot of the entire frontline.” His office stated. It is located 600 km (380 miles) to the east of Kyiv and has been held by Ukraine, which has stopped Moscow from capturing Donetsk Province and all of the Donbas Industrial Region.
According to the Ukrainian leader, he told troops that he had passed through Sloviansk Kramatorsk, Druzhkivka and Druzhkivka in order to get to Bakhmut. This unannounced visit appeared to be designed to demonstrate Moscow’s failures to capture the city as well as dishearten Russians trying surround it.
“Bakhmut Fortress. Our people. The enemy is not conquered. He thanked the troops for their courage and proved that they will resist the enemies.
He stated that the occupiers had been trying to destroy our Bakhmut since May. But time passes and Bakhmut has already broken not only Russia’s army but also the Russian military mercenaries, who were sent to replace the destroyed army of the occupiers.”
Russia’s February 24th invasion has lost its momentum. Donetsk is still fiercely contested over the illegally annexed territories of Kherson, Luhansk, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia. Capturing Bakhmut could cut off Ukraine’s supply routes and allow Russian forces to push on towards cities in Donetsk, which are vital Ukrainian strengthholds.
Bakhmut is being led by Mercenaries of the Wagner Group. This shadowy Russian military contractor may be behind the attack. Russia had backed separatists in Donetsk, and Luhansk for some time before Russia invaded. Together, the Donbas is made up of these two provinces.
Yevgeny Privozhin, the leader of Wagner Group, was seen standing next to an artillery item and saying that he would meet Zelenskyy at Bakhmut. In a statement that was attached to the videos, Prigozhin spokespeople said to Zelenskyy: “If I haven’t already left Bakhmut, I’m available to meet you.” Prigozhin. It was not clear where or when the videos were taken.
Putin awarded the Moscow-appointed heads to four regions annexed by Ukraine at the Kremlin Ceremony.
Putin stated, “Our country has faced many challenges and protected its sovereignty.” Russia now faces such a challenge. On the frontline, soldiers, officers, and volunteers show extraordinary courage and self-denial.
He gave a video speech in which he honored Russia’s security and military agencies.
The former KGB agent said that “your duty is to make sure their safety and protect rights and freedoms.” He said he would provide more personnel and equipment to strengthen the units. A Ukrainian counteroffensive is putting pressure on the regions.
Putin called for counterintelligence officers, to intensify efforts to “derail foreign spy agency activities and rapidly track down traitors and spies.”
The British officials, however, offered a grim assessment on how Russia is faring in the conflict.
U.K. Defense secretary Ben Wallace stated that around 100,000 Russian soldiers were killed, wounded, or deserted during the invasion. Wallace did not give any figures on the number of casualties in Ukraine, however, a U.S. military official recently estimated that there were about 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers who had been killed or wounded.
The destruction of military equipment and losses in Russia’s military command also have had a devastating effect. Wallace stated to the House of Commons that “not one operational commander” was in control of Russia’s military command on February 24th. Russia has lost a significant number of commanding officers and generals.”
Wallace stated that the Russian capability was severely limited by the loss of over 4,500 armored, protected vehicles as well as 140 fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft.
The counteroffensive by Ukraine has resulted in large areas of land being retaken. The U.K. Ministry of Defense announced that Ukraine had liberated 54% of Russia’s maximum territory after 300 days of conflict. The Ministry of Defense didn’t specify what percentage of Ukraine was under Russian control at its peak gains.
Russia controls 18% of Ukraine’s internationally recognised areas, which includes Crimea and the Donbas.
The battles are still raging. Zelenskyy’s bureau reported that at least five civilians were killed and eight others injured since Monday. Russian forces have also attacked nine areas in the southeastern region.
Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko stated that Russia has shelled 19 villages and cities in the area in the last day.
Moscow used drones and missiles against Ukraine to strike its power plants, in an attempt to stop freezing weather from ravaging the country.
The reopening two major subway stations in Kyiv, marking a small but welcome step towards normality and restoring order to the capital of Ukraine was a welcomed development. Like the other underground stations in Kyiv, these key hubs, Maidan Nezalezhnosti, and Khreschatyk have been used as shelters from air raids.
Denys Kapustin, 24, said that she feels like “despite all the difficulties we have been through, it’s still normal.” This is extremely important.