War against Ukraine: Fierce battles continue for Bakhmut


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Status: 03/12/2023 5:19 p.m

Despite a lack of ammunition, fierce fighting continues in eastern Ukraine. Both the Russian attackers and the Ukrainian fighters are demanding supplies – also directly from Germany. Bakhmut is partly under Russian control.

After months of heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine, both warring parties are now complaining about a lack of ammunition. In the battle for the largely destroyed town of Bakhmut, the Russian attackers around the Wagner mercenary troop called for supplies, as did the defenders.

Strengthen air defenses in Ukraine

In a phone call with US Chief of Staff Mark Milley, Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zalushnyi urged new ammunition and technology. In addition, the anti-aircraft defense of his country must be strengthened, he said according to official information.

Foreign Minister Kuleba told “Bild am Sonntag” that the lack of ammunition was the “number one” problem in the fight against the Russian occupiers. “Germany could really help more with ammunition. With artillery ammunition.”

10,000 tons of ammunition a month

However, according to their boss Yevgeny Prigozchin, the Russian mercenary group Wagner also lacks artillery shells and cartridges. Prigozhin said in a video that his troops needed 10,000 tons of ammunition every month for the battle for Bakhmut. He urgently asked for supplies.

The video allegedly shows him on the roof of a house in Bakhmut. You can see many destroyed houses and streets. Only a few thousand of the once 70,000 inhabitants live there, most of them in ruins. The Russian war of aggression against the neighboring country has now lasted more than a year.

Dark green: Russian army advancing. Hatched: areas annexed by Russia.

Picture: ISW/11.03.2023

The Bakhmutka River, which flows north-south through the city center, is now the front line, the British Ministry of Defense said in a report. The Ukrainian army has destroyed bridges and is shelling a “death zone” from 200 to 800 meters along the river from the western part of the city. That makes it “very challenging for the Wagner forces to continue their frontal attack to the west”.

Moscow calls such reports disinformation. But the Institute for War Studies (ISW) from the USA also reported that the Wagner mercenaries were finding it increasingly difficult to make significant progress in the urban area.

According to the US think tank Institute for the Study of War, the Russian attacks are deadlocked. There is no evidence of further advance, the ISW announced on Saturday evening (local time). According to the spokesman for the Ukrainian armed forces in the east, Serhiy Cherevaty, there were 23 battles in the city within 24 hours.

Ukraine wants to keep defending Bakhmut

Despite all the complaints about the lack of ammunition, the fighting continued with undiminished intensity. According to British experts, most of the east of Bakhmut is now under Russian control. However, the city does not want to give up Kiev.

Bakhmut is the main part of the Ukrainian line of defense in the Donetsk region. If they are successful, the Russians will have access to the major cities of Slovjansk and Kramatorsk. According to its foreign minister, Ukraine will continue to defend Bakhmut despite heavy losses. The longer this is possible, the greater the likelihood “that other cities will not suffer the same fate”.

This satellite image from the company Maxar shows destroyed bridges and buildings in Bakhmut (released on March 6).

Image: dpa

Russia does not have full control in any region

Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24 last year. During the annexation, which was criticized internationally as a breach of international law, his troops occupied the Donetsk, Luhansk, Cherson and Zaporizhia regions. However, they do not have full control in any region.

The goal of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is to liberate all areas, including the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

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