Ukraine Says Its Forces Hold on in Bakhmut
NEAR BAKHMUT, Ukraine/WASHINGTON—On the battlefield in eastern Ukraine, Kyiv’s forces continued to withstand Russian assaults on the now-ruined city of Bakhmut. Reuters reporters heard a constant rumble of artillery on all sides at about 1.5 km (0.9 mile) from the frontline.
In eastern Ukraine, the Russian-installed leader of the Donetsk region said on Thursday the situation around Bakhmut remained “complex and difficult” as Kyiv refused to withdraw its forces.
“That is, we do not see that there is any premise that the enemy is going to simply withdraw units,” Denis Pushilin said in an interview on state TV.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said this week his military top brass had advised reinforcing Bakhmut.
Kyiv had appeared last month to be preparing to pull out of the city but has since decided to defend it, claiming it is exhausting Russia’s attacking force there to pave the way for its own counter-attack.
President Vladimir Putin, meeting members of Russia’s business elite on Thursday urged them to invest in their country to help it weather what he called the West’s “sanctions war.”
Many of those attending the meeting are themselves under Western sanctions because of what Putin calls Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Poland said on Thursday it would send four MiG-29 fighter jets to neighboring Ukraine in coming days, making it the first of Kyiv’s allies to provide such aircraft.