Smoke rises over Kyiv as Russian strikes hit regions across Ukraine
Vladimir Putin is suffering “extremely heavy casualties” in Ukraine as the battle for Bakhmut rages on, according to UK intelligence.
Russia has made Bakhmut the main target of a winter push involving hundreds of thousands of reservists and mercenaries. It has captured the eastern part of the city and outskirts to the north and south, but has so far failed to close a ring around Ukrainian defenders.
On Saturday, UK defence officials said Ukrainian forces were still in control of the west of Bakhmut, leaving them able to fire from fortified buildings at Russian lines.
“This area has become a killing zone, likely making it highly challenging for Wagner forces attempting to continue their frontal assault westwards,” the MoD said.
In its Sunday update, the MoD said that the impact of Russia’s losses varies across the country.
“In proportion to the size of their population, the richest cities of Moscow and St Petersburg have been left relatively unscathed,” it said. “This is especially true for the families of the country’s elite.
“In many of the Eastern regions, deaths are likely running, as a percentage of population, at a rate 30+ times higher than in Moscow.”
Russia downs four missiles in Belgorod region – official
At least one person has been injuried in Russia after the country’s air defence forces shot down four missiles over the region and administrative centre Belgorod, regional governor said.
“At this time one person is known to have been injured. There is also damage from rocket debris in two residential buildings,” governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, said on the Telegram messaging app.
It is not immediately clear if the missiles were fired from Ukraine but officials in the past have accsued Ukrainian forces on the other side of the border of carrying out similar attacks.
Belgorod borders Ukraine‘s Kharkiv region and has repeatedly come under fire since the war began last year.
Arpan Rai13 March 2023 04:23
Russian and Ukrainian losses mount in Bakhmut
Volodymyr Zelensky has said his forces had killed more than 1,100 Russian soldiers in the past few days as they battled for control of Bakhmut.
“In less than a week, starting from the 6th March, we managed to kill more than 1,100 enemy soldiers in the Bakhmut sector alone, Russia’s irreversible loss, right there, near Bakhmut,” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly video address.
Russian forces also sustained 1,500 “sanitary losses”, soldiers wounded badly enough to keep them out of action, he added.
Similar claims have been made by Russia’s defence ministry and said that more than 220 Ukrainian service members have been killed in the Donetsk direction in the past 24 hours.
Arpan Rai13 March 2023 04:12
Rishi Sunak pledges £5bn for defence as UK faces a ‘volatile’ world
Rishi Sunak insisted the UK’s armed forces had the funding they needed for a “more volatile world” in the face of the growing challenges posed by China and Russia.
The prime minister promised an extra £5bn for the military over two years, but failed to meet Tory demands to commit to a goal of spending 3 per cent of the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) on defence.
Significant sums of the promised new money will be swallowed up by replenishing ammunition stockpiles handed to Ukraine and work on the Aukus project to develop nuclear-powered submarines for Australia.
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Arpan Rai13 March 2023 03:51
Wagner chief admits Ukrainian forces are fiercely fighting in Bakhmut
Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian private military company Wagner, has admitted that Ukrainian forces are fighting fiercely in Bakhmut.
In a new audio message posted on his Telegram page on Sunday, Mr Prigozhin said Ukrainian forces are “fighting for every meter.”
He continued: “the situation in Bakhmut is very difficult, the enemy is fighting for every meter. The closer we are to the city center, the harder the battles, the more artillery works against us, and the more tanks.”
“The Ukrainians are throwing up endless reserves,” Prigozhin added.
Martha Mchardy13 March 2023 02:25
Support will put Ukraine in ‘strongest position’ to negotiate ceasefire – Sunak
Rishi Sunak said new support measures for Ukraine agreed between the UK and France are designed to put Kyiv in the “strongest possible position” to negotiate a ceasefire.
The Prime Minister and French President Emmanuel Macron used the UK-France summit to sign off on jointly training Ukrainian marines and supplying weapons to the country in its fight against Russia’s invading forces.
Martha Mchardy13 March 2023 01:25
Ukraine identifies PoW killed by Russians as Oleksandr Igorevich Matsievskyi
Ukraine has identified the Prisoner of War (PoW) killed by Russia as Oleksandr Igorevich Matsievskyi.
Ukraine’s security services identified the prisoner killed Russian soldiers in a clip that spread quickly across the world, bringing an end to the dispute over his identity.
Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to “find the murderers” of the unarmed Ukrainian prisoner of war. While Ukraine’s chief prosecutor announced a criminal investigation into the killing, and human rights chief Dmytro Lubinets said it was a violation of the Geneva Conventions.
The 12-second video, orginally posted on Telegram before being shared on Twitter, shows the man in uniform with a Ukrainian insignia on his arm, standing and smoking a cigarette in a wooded area. The man says “Slava Ukraini!” – Glory to Ukraine – before multiple shots are fired. The man then slumps to the ground.
Ukraine’s military originally named the man as Tymofiy Shadura, a member of the 30th Separate Mechanised Brigade, who has been missing since 3 February near Bakhmut, but cautioned a final confirmation could not be made until the body had been recovered from currently Russian-controlled territory.
Oleksandr Igorevich Matsievskyi, 42, was deployed to Bakhmut in November.
Martha Mchardy13 March 2023 00:25
Russia claims it is continuing military operations in Donetsk region
The Russian Defence ministry says it is conducting military operations in Ukraine‘s eastern Donetsk region.
Moscow claims its troops have taken out 220 Ukrainian soldiers in the last 24 hours. Ukraine also claiks it has killed 200 Russian soldiers.
Russia‘s defence ministry said: “In the Donetsk direction… more than 220 Ukrainian servicemen, an infantry fighting vehicle, 3 armoured fighting vehicles, 7 vehicles, as well as a D-30 howitzer were destroyed during the day.”
Martha Mchardy12 March 2023 23:25
Saudi state-owned oil giant sees record profit after Russia invasion of Ukraine
Saudi oil giant Aramco has announced record profits of $161billion (£133 billion) for 2022, equivalent to £134billion, after soaring energy prices and bigger volumes.
The increase represents a 46.5 per cent rise on last year for energy firm Aramco.
Aramco also declared a dividend of $19.5bn (£16 billion) for the October to December quarter of 2022, most of which will go to the Saudi government in the first quarter of this year, which owns nearly 95 per cent of the shares in the company.
It comes as energy prices spiked following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Martha Mchardy12 March 2023 23:10
Ethnic minorities bear the brunt of the Kremlin’s war, according to Britain’s Ministry of Defence
Ethnic minorities bear the brunt of the Kremlin’s war, according to Britain’s Ministry of Defence.
Deaths are more than 30 times higher in many eastern regions in Ukraine than in Moscow, with the capital and St Petersburg “relatively unscathed”, said the Ministry of Defence.
“Insulating the better-off and more influential elements of Russian society” is likely a “major consideration”, the ministry said, adding that none of the officials in the two front rows of the audience at Mr Putin’s state of the union speech on 21 February are known to have children in the military.
Martha Mchardy12 March 2023 22:25
Hundreds of Russians killed in Bakhmut battle as snipers ‘create killing zone’
Hundreds of Russian troops have been killed in Bakhmut as Vladimir Putin’s troops seek to wrest control of the frontline Donetsk city – with Kyiv’s snipers said to have set up a “killing zone”.
Some 520 Russian troops were killed and wounded in Bakhmut alone in one day’s fighting, Ukraine’s military said, claiming Russia had suffered 2,000 fatalities since Friday – marking some of the deadliest days of the war since the invasion began.
Martha Mchardy12 March 2023 21:40