The battle of Bakhmut continues to dominate news out of Ukraine this week, with all eyes on the fate of the city in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.
The leader of Russia’s mercenary forces fighting in Bakhmut said Wednesday that his private military company, the Wagner Group, had taken full control of the eastern part of the city. The claims have yet to be verified.
Ukraine gave a military update Wednesday in which it noted that Ukraine had repelled over 100 attacks on the Donetsk region over the past day, including on Bakhmut. But it said Russian forces were “continuing their unsuccessful offensive operations” in the area.
The small town of Chasiv Yar, 5 kilometers from Bakhmut, is one of the last towns around the city still under the control of Ukrainian forces. As so, it has become a hub for the resupply and the movement of troops. It has suffered several attacks by Russian artillery in recent days.
Russia unleashes another wave of missile strikes on Ukraine, officials say
Kyiv and other major cities in Ukraine, including Lviv, Kharkiv and Odesa, were hit by a wave of Russian missile strikes overnight Wednesday, Ukrainian officials said, with air raid alerts activated across much of the country in the early hours of Thursday.
The Mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, said the capital had been hit by a number of explosions that had damaged energy infrastructure and injured several civilians.
In his most recent post on Telegram Thursday morning, Klitschko said that due to emergency power outages after the missile attack, 40% of the capital’s residents were without heating.
The air alert lasted almost seven hours in the capital, Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv city military administration, said on Telegram, accusing Russia of unleashing “almost all types of air weapons,” from Iranian-made drones to “almost all types of cruise missile.”
Popko said preliminary information indicated that Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missiles (a nuclear-capable, Russian air-launched ballistic missile) had hit an infrastructure object. CNBC wasn’t able to verify the claims.
Officials in the southern port of Odesa, Lviv in western Ukraine, and Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, all reported missile strikes overnight, while in the Dnipro area, a regional official said there was “serious destruction” as a result of the shelling, with “energy infrastructure and industrial enterprises” damaged. A number of fatalities have been reported in Lviv and Dnipro.
The governor of the northeastern Kharkiv region, Oleh Syniehubov, said Ukraine’s second-largest city Kharkiv had seen around 15 strikes on the city and region. “Objects of critical infrastructure are again in the sights of the occupiers,” he said, adding that “information about the victims and the scale of the destruction is being clarified.” Residents in the area have been told to remain in shelters.
In return, Ukraine’s military said Thursday that in the past 24 hours, it carried out a series of missile strikes on separate areas where there was a high contingency of Russian troops.
Ukraine also said that it shot down one unmanned aerial vehicle, destroyed a Buk-M1-2 anti-aircraft missile system and three Russian warehouses storing fuel and military supplies.
The Ukrainian armed forces said that Russian troops carried out “22 airstrikes and 29 attacks from rocket salvo systems.”
“In particular, they used one unmanned aerial vehicle of the Shahed-136 type, which has been eliminated,” Ukraine’s military said, referencing an Iranian drone supplied to Russia.
UN and Russia to talk about grain deal renewal next week in Geneva
Top UN trade official Rebeca Grynspan will meet senior Russian officials in Geneva next week to discuss extending a deal that allows the Black Sea export of Ukraine grains amid Russia’s war in the country, a UN spokesperson said on Wednesday.
“That’s the next step, and we’ll see whether anything further is needed than that,” deputy UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters.
“The Secretary-General will continue to do all he can to remove obstacles to the export of Russian fertilizers.”
The deal is set to expire later this month.
Compiled by Ana Dumbadze