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The Russian ministry of defense has highly likely fired Colonel-General Rustam Muradov as commander of the Eastern Group of Forces (EGF) in Ukraine, marking the most senior Russian military dismissal of 2023 so far, the British defense ministry said today.
“The EGF under Muradov has suffered exceptionally heavy casualties in recent months as its poorly conceived assaults repeatedly failed to capture the Donetsk oblast town of Vuhledar,” the MoD said in its latest intelligence update.
Commander Muradov’s operations in the Russian invasion of Ukraine “attracted intense public criticism from across the spectrum of Russian commentators – including Muradov’s own troops”, the British intelligence update said.
This comes as Volodymyr Zelensky said that the battle for the city of Bakhmut and other hotspots along the Ukrainian frontline will change with more and swifter military aid and not just as a result of his own military’s heroism.
The Pentagon is investigating leak of secret US and Nato war plans for Ukraine
The Biden administration is investigating the leak of classified war documents about secret American and Nato plans for bolstering the Ukrainian military ahead of an anticipated spring salvo against Russian forces, senior officials said.
“We are aware of the reports of social media posts and the department is reviewing the matter,” said Sabrina Singh, the deputy press secretary at the Pentagon, reported The New York Times.
The five-weeks-old documents reportedly reveal details of Ukraine’s requirements ahead of a planned counteroffensive to reclaim territory taken by Russia since the full-scale invasion last year, as well as how the US and Nato might meet them.
Arpan RaiApril 7, 2023 06:20
Ukraine holds out in Bakhmut despite ‘difficult’ situation -military
Ukraine said on Friday that Russia was concentrating all its efforts on capturing the eastern city of Bakhmut where it described the situation as “difficult” but said it was holding out despite Russia’s numerical superiority.
Eastern Military Command spokesperson Serhiy Cherevatyi told Reuters that Ukraine controlled the situation in Bakhmut, understood Russian intentions and that Moscow had tactical success in some places, but was paying a high price for it.
Maryam Zakir-HussainApril 7, 2023 08:36
Macron seeks China’s help on Ukraine as Xi ‘willing to call Zelensky’
Xi Jinping is willing to speak to Ukraine, the head of the EU said on Thursday, after Emmanuel Macron said he was “counting on China” to reason with Russia over the year-long war.
China’s president expressed willingness to speak to Volodymyr Zelensky, Ursula von der Leyen said, if the “conditions and time are right”.
Maryam Zakir-HussainApril 7, 2023 08:13
Russia seizes Bakhmutka River’s west bank, says the UK defense ministry
Russia has seized the west bank of the Bakhmutka River, endangering a key Ukraine supply route, in its push to regain control of the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut, the British defense ministry said on Friday.
“Russia has made further gains and has now highly likely advanced into the town center … Ukraine’s key 0506 supply route to the west of the town is likely much threatened,” the ministry said on Twitter in a regular bulletin.
Maryam Zakir-HussainApril 7, 2023 07:42
Russia ‘has regained momentum’ in Bakhmut, says the MoD
Russian forces have regained some momentum in the battle for Bakhmut in recent days after their advance was largely stalled since late last month, the British defense ministry has said today.
“Russia has made further gains and has now highly likely advanced into the town centre, and has seized the west bank of the Bakhmutka River. Ukraine’s key 0506 supply route to the west of the town is likely hardly threatened,” the MoD said in its latest intelligence update.
“Russian regular forces, likely including airborne troops, have probably reinforced the area, and Russia is again using artillery more effectively in the sector,” the MoD said.
It added that there was a realistic possibility that Wagner and Russian military commanders had paused their ongoing feud and improved cooperation.
Arpan RaiApril 7, 2023 07:05
In pictures: Ukrainian forces fire a 120mm mortar towards Russian positions in Donetsk
Emily AtkinsonApril 7, 2023 07:00
Street battles in Bakhmut as Wagner says fighting continues in western pocket
The months-long battle for Bakhmut has continued to flare up in the salt-mining city this week.
“(Battles) are underway in the streets, enemy attempts to encircle the city are failing. Our command fully controls the situation,” said Andriy Yermak, a senior adviser to Volodymyr Zelensky said.
The leader of Russia’s private Wagner militia, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said fighting was continuing in the west of the city.
“It must be said clearly that the enemy is not going anywhere,” he said on his Telegram channel.
The Wagner chief has often complained of a lack of ammunition for his fighters in Bakhmut but there are signs of revival of ammunition supply to the mercenary group.
But Ukrainian border guard Levko Stek, speaking in a video clip amid explosions, said Ukrainian forces did not sense any “ammunition hunger” on the Russian side.
Arpan RaiApril 7, 2023 06:54
Russian media mocks Trump over arrest days after he defended Putin: ‘We’re getting lots of popcorn!’
Donald Trump’s indictment in New York City has been met with ridicule by state TV in Russia, where hosts have enjoyed themselves by showcasing artwork depicting the former president wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and speculating about future jail time.
Mr Trump appeared at Manhattan Criminal Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon to plead not guilty to 34 felony charges relating to the falsification of business records to conceal a series of hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels, Playboys model Karen McDougal and a former Trump Tower doorman on his behalf in exchange for their silence about his alleged extramarital affairs.
Emily AtkinsonApril 7, 2023 06:00
Watch: Defecting Russian protection officer labels Vladimir Putin ‘war criminal’
Defecting Russian protection officer labels Vladimir Putin ‘war criminal’
Emily AtkinsonApril 7, 2023 05:00
Bakhmut grinds on as Ukrainian forces wait for mud to clear
The Ukrainian forces are using their counteroffensive abilities in Bakhmut to bleed Russian forces and inflict maximum losses possible in a dogged defense as they wait for the sludgy terrain to clear and make way for an expected spring assault.
“Bakhmut is performing the key task of inflicting as many losses on Russia as possible and, most importantly, to prepare for a counter-attack to take place in late April-May,” Pavlo Narozhniy, a Ukrainian military analyst, told NV Radio.
Even as Western analysts play down the strategic significance of Bakhmut, the Ukrainian side has persisted in protecting the town despite its own heavy casualties.
A 21-year-old commander outside Bakhmut said: “We are ready, we have to do it, the sooner the better. The enemy must be chased away. At the moment we are waiting for the weather to change, the mud is an obstacle.”
Speaking from close to the frontline, the commander of Ukraine’s 5th separate assault brigade, who gave his name as Ivan, said: “Those service members who are not on the frontline are training.”
Ukrainian military expert Vladyslav Selezniov said Ukraine would be able to defend positions in the more heavily built-up west of Bakhmut as long as their route to the west, the “road of life” for getting supplies in and wounded out, remained open.
Russia has defended its “special military operation” in Ukraine by claiming it was necessary to protect its security against what it sees as a hostile and aggressive West.
Arpan RaiApril 7, 2023 04:41