May 24. 2024. 5:41

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Ukraine war: Bakhmut offensive slowing, says US thinktank

A months-long ground assault on the eastern city of Bakhmut could be stalling in the face of fierce resistance, according to US, Ukrainian and British military experts.

The Institute for the Study of War, a US thinktank, said in its most recent update that the pace of Russian operations around Bakhmut “appears to be slowing amid western reporting that Russian forces may be attempting to launch offensives in other directions”.

The update goes on to say Russian forces are currently increasing the tempo of their offensive operations around Avdiivka aiming to encircle the settlement, and it is possible that Russian forces are doing so at the expense of their operations around Bakhmut and the stalled offensive around Vuhledar.

British military intelligence also believes Russia’s assault on the town could be running out of steam.

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Ukraine war: Bakhmut offensive slowing, says US thinktank


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There was still a danger, however, that the Ukrainian garrison in Bakhmut could be surrounded, Britain’s defence ministry said in its intelligence update on Wednesday.

Ukraine’s military General Staff agreed that Russia’s offensive potential in Bakhmut was declining.

Bakhmut has become a key objective for Moscow, which sees the town as a stepping stone toward completing its conquest of the eastern Donbas region.

Russian forces unleashed a wave of air strikes in the north and south of Ukraine as President Vladimir Putin bid farewell on Wednesday to Chinese leader Xi Jinping following a two day visit to Moscow by his fellow autocrat and “dear friend”.

Elsewhere, the European Council is meeting today in Brussels, where leaders will discuss the war and Europe’s continuing support for Ukraine.

United Nations secretary general António Guterres will also take part in today’s meeting.

At least one person was killed and 33 wounded by a twin Russian missile strike on two residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine’s east, according to officials.

Residential areas “where ordinary people and children live are being fired at”, said the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Mr Zelenskiy made a surprise visit on Wednesday to Ukrainian troops near Bakhmut.

Mr Zelenskiy, dressed in a dark sweatshirt and military khaki trousers, was seen handing out medals to soldiers he said were heroically defending their country’s sovereignty. – Guardian