in Soledar and Bakhmout, the “bloody” confrontations of war.

ANATOLII STEPANOV / AFP Ukrainian tankers fire at frontline positions near the city of Soledar, Donetsk region on June 10, 2022. (Photo by Anatolii STEPANOV / AFP)


A Ukrainian tank fires near the town of Soledar in eastern Ukraine. Illustrative photo taken on June 10, 2022.

UKRAINE – Ukrainian authorities are talking about the clashes “most bloody” since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This Wednesday, January 11, heavy fighting is underway in Soledar, eastern Ukraine as Russia seeks to reverse the course of the war. A testament to its desire to accelerate: the Kremlin is once again changing its military leadership as kyiv appears to be getting closer to getting its hands on heavy Western weaponry.

“Everything that happened today to Bakhmout or Soledar is the bloodiest scenario of this war”, said in an interview with Agence France presse (AFP) Mykhaïlo Podoliak, adviser to the presidency of Ukraine. Fight “continue” in Soledar, the front ” hold “said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the evening. “We are doing everything to strengthen Ukraine’s defense without rest, not even for a day” in the eastern Donetsk region, he said.

Soledar, a mining town of 10,000 inhabitants, is located near the larger town of Bakhmout, which the Ukrainians have been defending relentlessly for several months. Russian mercenary group Wagner has claimed responsibility for his capture, in what would ultimately be a military victory for Moscow, after several humiliating setbacks since September: it was rebuffed not only by the Ukrainian army but also by the Russian army.

Russia’s losses were “enormous” according to Ukraine

The Kremlin, used to commanding rival armies, is wary of the situation on the ground. “You don’t need to rush. We are waiting for an official statement »Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told the press, while believing that there was “positive dynamics” in the ranks of the Russian troops.

According to Ukrainian adviser Mykhailo Podoliak, the Russian military losses at Soledar were “very large” and “Ukrainian soldiers also lost people”. Of course “more than anything else has ever been before”he told AFP.

On a whole-Ukrainian scale, “during the day, the enemy carried out two missile strikes and 22 air strikes”, sums up the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. In the Lugansk region alone, neighboring Donetsk, Russia has it “collected” around 30,000 troops, also reportedly its governor in Ukraine, Serguiï Gaïdaï.

At the same time in Moscow, General Valery Guerasimov, a direct interlocutor of Vladimir Putin, was appointed “commander of the joint force group” deployed in Ukraine. “The increase in the level of the special operations command (in Ukraine) is related to the expansion of the scope of missions to be completed”explained the Ministry of Defense in a press release.

Ukraine is still waiting for heavy weapons

Valéri Guerassimov’s predecessor, General Sergei Surovikin, led the operation for only three months. He had been appointed in October to improve the situation of the failing Russian army in the Kharkiv region, in the northeast, and Kherson in the south of the country.

At the same time, Ukraine reiterated its call to its Western partners, ahead of a new meeting at the American base at Ramstein in Germany on January 20, to provide heavy and long-range weaponry. “We still want to get 250-350 heavy tanks” and “missile with a range of 100 kilometers”argued Mykhaïlo Podoliak in his statement to AFP, promising that the latter would not be used to attack Russian territory.

The West Chancellor has been slow to respond to Kyiv’s requests in this regard and Paris, London, Berlin and Washington have promised only tanks and other lightly armored vehicles at this stage. But Poland took the first step on Wednesday, saying it was ready to deliver a company of German Leopard 2 heavy tanks, or 14. This delivery will be made “as part of a coalition under construction”underlined its president Andrzej Duda in Lviv in western Ukraine.

Finally, on the diplomatic front, a rare meeting between Russian and Ukrainian officials took place in Turkey on Tuesday between human rights officials from the two warring sides, Dmytro Loubinets and Tatiana Moskalkova.

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