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Russia closing the grip on the battle for Bakhmut Ukraine

Bakhmut siege Ukraine

Battle for Bakhmut: As Russia draws in, pressure increases on Ukrainian troops

Russian forces applied more pressure on Ukrainians holed up in Bakhmut on Saturday as locals tried to flee with the assistance of soldiers who, according to Western observers, may be getting ready to leave the crucial eastern stronghold.

According to Ukrainian troops who were supporting them, a woman was killed and two men were severely injured by shelling while attempting to cross an improvised bridge out of the city in the Donetsk province.

The Associated Press was informed by a representative of the Ukrainian army that it was now too risky for residents to depart Bakhmut by vehicle and that they must instead flee on foot for operational reasons.

Russian troops, including those from the private Wagner Group, have been inching closer to Bakhmut for months as part of Moscow’s relentless eastern advance in the war.

A pontoon bridge was erected by Ukrainian military to enable the few surviving villagers to go to the neighbouring village of Khromove, as observed by an reporters on Saturday near Bakhmut. Later, as a result of attacks in Khromove, they observed at least five houses on fire.

According to U.K. military intelligence experts and other Western analysts, Ukrainian soldiers over the past 36 hours demolished two important bridges just outside Bakhmut, including one connecting it to the neighboring town of Chasiv Yar along the only remaining Ukrainian resupply route.

The newest of the U.K. defense ministry’s frequent Twitter updates stated that the bridges were destroyed as Russian fighters advanced farther into Bakhmut’s northern outskirts.

A Washington-based research organization called the Institute for the Study of War concluded late on Friday that Kyiv’s actions might indicate a coming withdrawal from some areas of the city. According to the report, Ukrainian forces may “perform a limited and controlled withdrawal from particularly challenging portions of eastern Bakhmut,” aiming to obstruct Russian movement there and restrict escape routes to the west.

The capture of Bakhmut would allow Russian troops to advance on other Ukrainian strongholds in the Donetsk region in addition to providing them with a rare battlefield victory after months of defeats.

Civilians discussed their everyday problems while warfare continued almost nonstop, destroying much of Bakhmut. Hennadiy Mazepa and Natalia Ishkova, a husband and couple who decided to stay in the city, claimed they are in need of food and other services.

“We only receive humanitarian (help) once a month. There is no gas, water, or electricity,” Ishkova told the AP on Saturday.

She continued, “I pray to God that everyone who is still here will live.

Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for the UN, said on Friday that “intense hostilities” had been reported close to Bakhmut and that the few humanitarian partners present on the ground were concentrating on evacuating the most vulnerable.

Earlier on Saturday, according to the Defense Ministry, Russia’s defense commander visited eastern Ukraine to evaluate troops and present them with honors.

According to a video released by the ministry, defense minister Sergei Shoigu visited a command post and was briefed by the regional commander Rustam Muradov. The location of the command post was not made known.

The number of fatalities from a Russian missile strike that struck a five-story apartment building in southern Ukraine on Thursday has now reached 11, according to emergency services in Ukraine.

Around 36 hours after a Russian missile tore through four storeys of the building in the riverfront city of Zaporizhzhia, emergency officials reported in an online statement that rescuers rescued three more bodies from the wreckage overnight. The rescue effort was still going on, and one of those reported slain was a toddler.

According to the first lady of Ukraine, the nation is looking into 171 allegations of sexual assault by Russian troops. Two citizens of front-line settlements in the neighboring Zaporizhzhia region were reportedly killed on Saturday by Russian shelling, according to the local military administration.

While Russian forces launched artillery rounds and rockets into Ukrainian-held territory across the Dnieper river, a 57-year-old lady and a 68-year-old man also perished in Nikopol, a town farther west close to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, according to regional governor Serhiy Lysak.

The president of the European Union parliament met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday in the western city of Lviv, hundreds of miles from the front lines. Zelenskyy had discussions about how to hold Russia accountable for its actions in Ukraine with U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and key European legal authorities hours before.

Before a lasting peace can be reached, according to European Parliament President Roberta Metsola and Zelenskyy, “all those responsible” for alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine must be brought to account. This includes Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Metsola expressed support for the EU’s Thursday declaration that The Hague will become the site of an international center for the prosecution of the crime of aggression, which is the act of invading another country.

She also encouraged Western nations to continue supporting Kyiv as it fights Russian forces in the east and south and demanded that Ukraine begin talks on joining the 27-nation bloc as soon as this year.

Ukraine was put on a path for membership in the EU by the EU in June, beginning a process that may take years or even decades. Yet, the invasion by Moscow and the Ukraine’s request for fast-track approval have made the negotiations urgent.

“The European Union is where Ukraine’s future lies. We will accompany you every step of the road,” Metsola wrote on Twitter late on Friday.

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