(Moscow) At least two people were killed in a Russian airstrike that hit a market in the village of Shevchenkove in northeastern Ukraine on Monday, local authorities said, as fighting continued in Moscow. East.
“Six people were injured in a rocket attack on Shevchenkove. Two others died,” Kharkiv region governor Oleg Synegoubov said on Telegram, posting photos of firefighters in rubble and stalls on fire.
In Kherson, in the south, Governor Yaroslav Yanushevich reported one dead and one injured in a Russian bombardment that hit a residential area.
In the east, Russian troops carried out a “massive bombardment” on Kurakhivka, which injured at least two people and damaged around 20 houses, according to Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
According to the Ukrainian presidency, two people have died and ten have been injured in the past 24 hours across the country.
The Ukrainian army has for its part confirmed that Bakhmout, a city in eastern Ukraine, remains the “hottest point on the front”, where “fierce fighting takes place”.
“The enemy has concentrated the maximum of combat-ready forces there, including Wagner’s units”, a paramilitary group whose mercenaries fight alongside Russian troops, said Sergiï Tcherevaty, spokesman for the Eastern Command of the army. .
On Sunday, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Maliar also reported a “very difficult” situation in Soledar, 15 kilometers northeast of Bakhmout.
According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russia is preparing to launch new attacks on the country’s energy system, as temperatures have dropped.
The fighting comes after a 36-hour unilateral ceasefire declared by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of Orthodox Christmas on Friday and Saturday. Hostilities had however continued during this truce, but of a lesser intensity.
The prorussians claim control of a village near Bakhmout
Pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine claimed on Monday that they had taken control of a village near Bakhmout.
The locality of Bakhmoutské “has been liberated by the Russian armed forces”, indicated the separatists of this region whose Moscow claims the annexation.
AFP was unable to verify these independent source claims.
In a statement posted on social networks, the Wagner group, led by a businessman close to the Kremlin, said that this village had already been “liberated” by its men last month.
The village of Bakhmoutské is located northeast of Bakhmout, a town once known for its vineyards and salt mines and which had around 70,000 inhabitants before the start of the Russian offensive last February. It is now the hottest spot on the forehead.
Bakhmoutské is located right next to the town of Soledar, also the scene of heavy fighting.
These statements illustrate the growing rivalry that exists, according to many analysts, between the Russian Ministry of Defense on the one hand and the Wagner group on the other.
Russia claimed in September the annexation of the Donetsk region, as well as three other Ukrainian regions, following referendums not recognized by Kyiv and the international community.
“Prolong the suffering”
The deliveries to Ukraine of armored infantry and other weapons announced last week by several Western countries will only “prolong the suffering” of the Ukrainians and will not “change” the balance of forces, the Kremlin.
“Europe, NATO and the United States have already injected tens of billions of dollars into Ukraine and into arms deliveries,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“Fundamentally, these deliveries cannot and will not change anything […] These deliveries can only prolong the suffering of the Ukrainian people,” he added.
Last week, the United States announced major new military aid to Ukraine valued at more than $3 billion, including 50 Bradley-type armored infantry and dozens of other armored vehicles.
Berlin, for its part, has said it wants to send the Ukrainian army 40 “Marder” armored vehicles, light armored vehicles intended for troop transport, in the first quarter of 2023, as well as a Patriot anti-aircraft defense battery.
And France said it was sending an unspecified number of AMX-10 RC light battle tanks.
Since the start of the Russian offensive against Ukraine in February 2022, Western countries have supported Kyiv by providing financial and military support, in particular with the delivery of cannons.
The Ukrainian authorities are demanding heavy tanks capable of being used in the assault phases, but its allies have refused to do so so far, fearing to provoke an escalation with Moscow.