Russia’s Wagner Group controls the eastern part of the Ukrainian Donbas city of Bakhmut, while Ukrainian forces remain in the western part of the city, according to an intelligence report released by Britain’s Defense Ministry on Saturday.
It was reported that “this sector has become a killing zone,” with Ukrainian forces firing from fortified structures, making it difficult for Wagner’s forces to continue their frontal assault to the west.
However, Russian attempts to outflank Ukrainian forces from the north and south have left Ukrainian soldiers and their western supply lines vulnerable, according to the Defense Ministry.
Moscow has said the capture of Bakhmut is a step towards a Russian military takeover of the entire eastern Donbas region of Ukraine.
On Thursday, Russia launched a series of missiles over Ukraine, causing damage to the country’s infrastructure and electrical supply. By Friday, Kyiv’s power was largely restored.
The director of Kyiv’s military administration, Serhii Popko, stated that electricity and water had been restored in the capital but that approximately 30 percent of the city’s citizens still lacked heat.
Ukrainian authorities said that power had been fully restored in the southern region of Odesa and that 60% of homes in the second-largest city, Kharkiv, which had suffered power cuts, had returned to work on Friday.
However, the authorities stated that the electricity supply was still badly damaged in northwestern Ukraine’s Kharkiv and Zhytomyr regions.
At least six persons were killed, and numerous buildings were destroyed Thursday in Ukraine as a result of Russian missile attacks.
It was the heaviest attack in three weeks against Ukraine, and the Ukrainian military claimed to have shot down 34 of the 81 missiles Russia launched, a much lower percentage than usual. They also claimed to have taken down four Iranian-made drones.
The Russian onslaught also included the use of Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missiles. Although missile salvoes have become a standard Russian military tactic, such ramming has also become less frequent since the fall.
On Friday, Britain’s Defense Ministry predicted that the time between similar assaults would lengthen. Moscow, he added, needs more time “to amass a critical mass of newly built missiles directly from the industry before it can resort to an attack large enough to credibly overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses.”
The Russian Defense Ministry said the attacks were in retaliation for an alleged Ukrainian attack on the Bryansk region in western Russia. Ukraine has denied carrying out the attack.
Russia said on Thursday that it had attacked “energy facilities that supply” Ukrainian military and industrial targets.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was present at the funeral of a prominent Ukrainian military figure who had been slain in the combat near Bakhmut on Friday in Kyiv. Recently, a 27-year-old soldier named Dmytro Kotsiubailo was killed in action.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin unexpectedly visited Kyiv on Friday and joined thousands of mourners during Kotsiubailo’s funeral.
The Finnish leader made these accusations during a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, and called for the heads of the Russian government to be brought to justice.
“Putin knows that he will have to answer for his crime of aggression,” Marin said.
Russia has deliberately denied targeting civilians or committing war crimes. Also, the White House accused Russia of stirring up unrerest in Moldova on Friday.
John Kirby, a spokesperson for the National Security Council in the White House, claimed that information gathered by the United States suggests that Russian intelligence-linked individuals are planning to stage rallies in Moldova in an effort to topple the country’s pro-Western government.
“As Moldova continues to integrate into Europe, we believe Russia is looking at options to weaken the Moldovan government, likely with the ultimate goal of seeing a more Russia-friendly administration in the capital,” Kirby said.
Ukraine’s western neighbor is the Moldovan Republic. Like Ukraine, it is a former Soviet republic that must balance its links to Russia with its growing friendship with Europe, including its desire to join the European Union.