Espreso. Global

Bakhmut defense and possible activation of Russia at sea. Serhiy Zgurets column

13 February, 2023 Monday

In recent weeks, the activity of the Russian forces at sea has been increasing. At the same time, the AFU continue defense in the Bakhmut area

Destroyed bridge and withdrawal from Krasna Hora: situation around Bakhmut

The situation near Bakhmut remains difficult – for 7 months the city was a real impregnable fortress. Russian attacks were not successful. After Russian troops captured Soledar, now some ground troops and Wagner units are trying to continue attacks to the north, east and south of Bakhmut. Despite suffering serious losses, the enemy proceeds with the offensive.

In the north, their main goal is to reach the road from Bakhmut to Sloviansk. The situation remains quite difficult, the enemy has entered Krasna Hora. The AFU withdrew, and the hostilities are now taking place in Paraskoviivka. To the east of the city, battles continue in the suburban area – near the Bakhmutka River, as well as in the private buildings area. The battles are fierce, Ukrainian units are fighting for every meter. The AFU managed to slow down the Russians there, and even attempted counterattacks. The situation is rapidly changing. South of Bakhmut – the enemy is trying to attack Stupochky and Ivanivske in order to reach the highway Kostiantynivka - Bakhmut. There is no real access to the road, but there is fire control by the Russians. Yesterday, the bridge across the Siverskyi Donets - Donbas canal was destroyed. It is to the west of Ivanivske and it makes it impossible to reach the road. It is not yet clear who destroyed the bridge.

The main road to Bakhmut currently is through Khromove, which is safe and is near Chasiv Yar. Bakhmut's defense will last as long as necessary. There are different scenarios. Journalists and volunteers are now prohibited from entering the city; it can be linked to the intensification of hostilities there. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Zaluzhnyi spoke with Gen. Mark Milley, and said that despite the constant Russian offensive actions, the AFU continue to keep Bakhmut under control and take active defense measures, which may involve withdrawing to more beneficial positions.

Possible Russian activation at sea

According to military expert Andriy Ryzhenko, there is a video of a Russian naval drone reaching the railway bridge in the Zatoka area and exploding. This is a 5m long boat with tens of kilograms of explosives. Bridge was not seriously damaged. If the drone detonates near a small ship or boat, the damage can be serious. But there should be at least a hundred kilograms of explosives. This is the first case. The second case is a missile attack on the Zmiinyi island from two Su-24Ms. The third is the activation of Russian special forces on the Dnipro delta islands near Kherson. There are constant battles, the Russians send raid units, shell Kherson and the surrounding area from the islands. There was also information that the 61st Marine Brigade of the Russian Federation from the Northern Fleet is allegedly preparing for amphibious operations there. 

Ryzhenko said that over the past two months, the Russians have repaired most of the amphibious ships in Sevastopol. This indicates the possible activation of Russia at sea. Currently, Ukraine controls only 20% of the sea coast. This is the area from the Danube Delta to the Dnipro Delta, which is under intense fire. Launching an amphibious assault in the Black Sea seems unrealistic now. But such activity has been observed recently, so the AFU are monitoring and preparing.

Poland’s aid: business for Ukrainians and energy supply systems

According to Oleh Vostrykh, innovative project fund director, Poland offers Ukrainians to open businesses. Poland is now a large economic zone for Ukrainians: every city offers development programs to run businesses. It is for free, and it is a great opportunity for Ukrainians to start a business in days or weeks without excessive bureaucracy and with tax benefits on land and real estate. The city of Rzeszów conducts such a program and invites our businessmen, especially in the military sector, which cannot be safe in Ukraine now. They provide opportunities for normal work. There are many Ukrainian women there, so there are many potential employees. The language is easy to learn, after six months Ukrainians can understand everything. The legislation is simple, clear and reliable.

Vostrykh added that the Poles were also the first to provide assistance in the supply of generators. The Baltic countries have already followed, helping as much as possible. Finland joined. Now France, which has been on the sidelines for a long time, is activating by sending many generators and power supply systems. Recently, Germany has provided Ukraine with energy equipment. But the Poles are helping the most in this matter. There is also Turkey, but we buy a lot from Turkey due to a normal price. The Poles really help significantly in terms of humanitarian aid and opportunities for the Ukrainian community.

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