Ukraine Fierce fighting in Bakhmout where situation becomes complicated

Ukraine: “Fierce fighting” in Bakhmout where situation “becomes complicated”

“Fierce fighting” took place on Sunday in the northern districts of Bakhmout, a frontline flashpoint in eastern Ukraine, where President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recognized a situation that “will become more complicated” against troops from Moscow.

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The Russian army, supported by Wagner Group mercenaries, has been trying since the summer to capture this largely destroyed and fortress-turned city in eastern Ukraine, where both sides are suffering heavy casualties.

Moscow has made small territorial gains in the region in recent weeks in hopes of breaching the Ukrainian lockdown on Bakhmout, including capturing the northern town of Soledar and more recently the village of Blagodatne.

“In the northern districts (of Bakhmout), bitter fighting is taking place for every street, every house, every stairwell,” said on Sunday the head of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, Evgeny Prigojine, whose men are on the front line.

“The Ukrainian armed forces are not retreating. They fight to the last man,” he said, quoted by his press service on Telegram.

The Ukrainian General Staff gave him no details on fighting and shelling ongoing at several points in the east of the country, where at least four civilians have been killed and 11 wounded in the past 24 hours, according to regional authorities.


Five people were also injured in two Russian attacks on Sunday in central Kharkiv, the country’s second-biggest city, hitting residential buildings and a higher educational institution, according to the head of Kharkiv regional military administration, Oleg Synegubov.

” Life is short “

In Bakhmout, AFP journalists took part in a liturgy organized on Sunday in the basement of the church with the golden pear of All Saints in the presence of about twenty people, including two Ukrainian soldiers.

Three women sang hymns punctuated by the sound of mortar shells. The room was lit only by about twenty candles and a portable lamp used by the two priests to read the Bible.

“Today I prayed that everything would be better for me after my death,” said 20-year-old Serafim Chernychov in front of the church, while shots and shells could be heard from and to the Russian positions.


“Last night a rocket flew into my garden and a bullet flew into my house, it could have hit me. So we have to understand that life is short, I can die now or in 30 years,” he continues. “If I am killed, it is God’s will,” he adds resignedly.

Lioubov Avramenko, 84, said he prayed “for freedom”. “We’re sitting in a basement with no water, gas or electricity,” she says.

“I prayed for my country, for Ukraine, for my family. I’m sure it will all be over soon,” Svetlana Boïko, 51, wants to believe.

“Breaking the Defense” of Ukraine

On Saturday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy acknowledged that the situation on the front lines, and in particular in Bakhmout, which he previously vowed not to give up and to defend “as long as possible”, is “complicated”.

He also cited Vougledar, where Russian troops are on the offensive, and Lyman, a town retaken from the Russians during a Ukrainian counter-offensive in 2022. “The occupiers are mobilizing their forces more and more to break our defenses,” he added.

Kyiv, fearing a new major Russian attack, is impatiently awaiting arms supplies promised by the West, particularly heavy tanks and long-range missiles.


Canada shipped the first of its promised Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine on Saturday.

A number of other Western countries have pledged new weapons to Ukraine, including the United States, France, but also Germany after some hesitation in supplying its Leopard tanks.

Western arms shipments are vital to Kyiv and have provoked the ire of Moscow, which has brandished the threat of an escalation in the conflict that began in February 2022.

A European embargo on petroleum products exported by sea is also due to come into effect on Sunday, a “negative” measure that will “further unbalance” markets, the Kremlin said.