Day 403 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Kyiv continues to Repel Russian Attacks in Bakhmut
Day 403 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- Ukraine continues to repel Russian attacks in Bakhmut
- The Battle of Bakhmut: Snow in the trenches, ice on the uniforms, the defenders of the city do not surrender
- A Ukrainian court placed the abbot of a well-known monastery in Kyiv under house arrest
- Zelensky spoke via phone to Macron
- Piontkovsky to UNIAN: Western-trained Ukrainian pilots will take off from airports in Romania and Poland
Ukraine continues to repel Russian attacks in Bakhmut
Ukrainian soldiers fighting near the eastern city of Bakhmut in Donetsk region continue to repel repeated Russian attacks, the Ukrainian military said, as heavy snow slowed Russian offensive operations, DPA reported.
According to an assessment by British military intelligence, Russia's efforts to conquer the neighboring eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas with a winter offensive have failed. Along the long front, "Russian forces have achieved only minor successes at the cost of tens of thousands of casualties," the British Ministry of Defense wrote in its daily intelligence briefing.
The crushing winter offensive "largely squandered" the advantage in personnel gained from last year's partial mobilization.
In Bakhmut, months of bloody fighting have resulted in little progress for Russian troops, although Ukrainian defenders have also reportedly suffered significant losses. Further attacks during the past 24 hours did not bring further success.
"During the past 24 hours, our defenders repelled enemy attacks in the area of the towns of Bogdanovka and Ivanovsko," the Ukrainian General Staff said yesterday. The two settlements are located on important access roads to the disputed city of Bakhmut.
Earlier, Russian sources reported heavy snowfalls that were hampering the advance of the attacking troops.
"Deteriorating weather makes it difficult to take decisive action," Russian military expert Boris Roshin complained last night on Saturday evening.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his daily address to the nation that the country had come out of the week stronger. He thanked Germany for its continued support, alluding to the recent delivery of Marder infantry fighting vehicles and Leopard 2 battle tanks.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said yesterday that Ukraine has also placed orders for 100 new Polish Rosomach combat vehicles.
Zelensky, however, rebuked the UN Security Council and called for reforms as Russia took over the rotating presidency of the important body. The Ukrainian president said that "we can hardly imagine anything that better demonstrates the utter failure of these institutions" than Russia leading the UN body as it waged a bloody and widely condemned invasion.
Zelensky also announced additional Ukrainian sanctions against hundreds of individuals and companies accused of supporting the Russian invasion.
The latest round of sanctions targets the arms industry in particular, as well as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is believed to be supplying Russia with so-called kamikaze drones for use in airstrikes.
The sanctions are mostly symbolic, as few of those on the sanctioned list own property in Ukraine.
The Battle of Bakhmut: Snow in the trenches, ice on the uniforms, the defenders of the city do not surrender
The Ukrainian army is buried under snow in the trenches in Bakhmut, reported the UNIAN agency, which showed a video from the city, which the Russians have been storming since the hot August. After the latest snowfall and winds on Friday, the trenches of the Ukrainian defenders are knee-deep in snow, and the soldiers' uniforms are covered in ice.
The VSU showed the conditions under which they are forced to defend the "Fortress Bakhmut" as a result of the sudden change in weather. Despite the bad weather conditions, the fighters, says UNIAN, are steadfast: “Nothing can stop us!”
According to the Ukrainian command, the intensity of Russian attacks in Bakhmut has decreased over the past 24 hours. The Russians inflicted 170 hits from cannons and rocket artillery, and there were 25 local battles on the Bakhmut direction.
Bakhmut remains one of the enemy's priority targets. During the fighting in the last 24 hours, 162 invaders were killed, 157 were wounded. “If we take the data in the context of a week or ten days, the number of attacks has somewhat decreased: if earlier they were 35-50 or more, now we see from 17 to 25,” said the spokesman of the eastern group of the VSU Sergiy Cherevatiy in the nationwide television marathon .
According to him, it is necessary to take into account that the situation is influenced not only by the powerful strikes against the invaders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but also by complex factors (weather conditions, attempts by the Russians to somehow regroup their forces). Wagner units are suffering incredible losses there, and the command is trying to reinforce them with airborne and motorized rifle units.
Yesterday, world agencies reported that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have regained some positions around Bakhmut, but Russian forces have made minor progress towards the center of the city. Footage of the factory premises where President Volodymyr Zelensky met with the defenders of the city in March was shown on social networks, now in the same premises, against the background of the same equipment, fighters of PMC "Wagner" were photographed.
Wagner in Bahmut factorys,same place where Zelensky was pic.twitter.com/99BbxxkiEl— ZOKA (@200_zoka) March 14, 2023
A Ukrainian court placed the abbot of a well-known monastery in Kyiv under house arrest
A Ukrainian court placed under house arrest for two months the abbot of the famous Kyiv-Pechora Lavra monastery, Metropolitan Pavlo, reported DPA.
The metropolitan is suspected of inciting religious conflicts and justifying Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, local media reported from the courtroom. He was ordered by the court to wear an electronic tag and banned from contacting members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The priest denies the charges and described the trial as politically motivated.
The case concerns the use of the cave monastery complex and, more broadly, the position of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. For now, the metropolitan must leave the monastery. He must serve his sentence under house arrest at the address at which he is registered, but which is not on the grounds of the monastery.
Yesterday, police searched the residence of the head of the church in that location. "They told me in two words that I was suspected of working for Russia," Pavel said in a video released by Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti. He added that he was also summoned for questioning on charges of religious agitation and insulting the Ukrainian president.
Zelensky spoke via phone with Macron
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, said that he had a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron, world agencies reported.
The two discussed the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine and defense cooperation.
The phone call came just days before Macron leaves for China, where the topic of Ukraine is expected to be raised during his talks with Chinese leaders.
Zelensky said he and Macron discussed further steps to implement Ukraine's peace proposal.
The phone call between the two leaders followed the day that marked the first anniversary of the withdrawal of Russian forces from the Ukrainian city of Bucha. Yesterday, French President Macron accused Moscow of allowing and even encouraging the war crimes of the Russian army in Ukraine, France Press reported.
"Russian aggression led to a systematic organization of war crimes against Ukraine and against its population. And instead of punishing these crimes, contrary to all the laws of war, Russian leaders allowed and even encouraged them, disregarding international law and with the clear aim of subjugating the Ukrainian a nation with strength," Macron said in a video message broadcast during a summit held in Kyiv on the topic of the Bucha crimes.
Piontkovsky to UNIAN: Western-trained Ukrainian pilots will take off from airports in Romania and Poland
Agreements between China and Russia speed up military aid to Ukraine from Western partners ahead of a planned counter-offensive by the armed forces. Ukraine will be granted not only aviation, but also airports for it in NATO countries, publicist and political scientist Andrey Piontkovsky announced in a video interview for UNIAN.
"What Pu (Putin) and Xi are doing now, they are just working for us. They are daily shaping American public opinion that Poo must be ended decisively and as quickly as possible." said the publicist.
He also spoke about Ukraine's need for fourth-generation fighters.
"What do you think they are doing, hundreds, maybe more, of the best Ukrainian pilots now being trained in the USA, Great Britain, Poland, and as it turned out, because it was hidden until the last, also on the Mirages in France. They what? Will they continue to study there when hostilities unfold in southern Ukraine? My guess is that these pilots are being trained on Western planes,” said the political scientist.
Piontkovsky suggested that they will take off from Romanian and Polish airports:
"Several times the opinion was expressed that it is difficult for Ukrainian airports to be fully prepared to serve these aircraft. It seems to me that this will settle the matter. Also, you know the MiG-29s are coming, but they're not just coming, they're coming with additional equipment for Western (American and British) cruise missiles and bombs."
Piontkovsky does not doubt the political determination of the leadership and the entire political class of the United States, aimed at the counteroffensive of the armed forces ending with "a demonstrative and impressive victory for Ukraine, which will cause serious political changes inside Russia."
As UNIAN wrote, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Alexey Danilov, expressed confidence that the Western allies will deliver modern American F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine in the near future.
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