Ukraine-Russia war – latest news: Wagner chief says ‘knocking on all doors’ for arms from Putin


Ukrainian forces demobilise Russian tanks near Donetsk frontline

Russian mercenary group Wagner’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has said he is “knocking on all doors” for replenishing arms and ammunition for his forces leading the battle in the besieged country amid signs of deepening feud with Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

“I’m knocking on all doors and sounding the alarm about ammunition and reinforcements, as well as the need to cover our flanks,” he said in a statement yesterday released by his press service.

“If everyone is coordinated, without ambition, screw-ups and tantrums, and carries out this work, then we will block the armed forces of Ukraine. If not, then everyone will be s*****d,” the Wagner chief warned.

Ukraine’s defence in battered Bakhmut has continued to hold out against Vladimir Putin’s forces, one of Kyiv’s commanders in the frontline city has said, albeit in conditions of “utter hell”.

Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said his chief of the general staff and commander of ground forces had both spoken to him “in favour of continuing the defensive operation” in the frontline city.


Wagner chief says knocking on all doors for ammunition

Russia’s Wagner mercenary force chief Yevgeny Prigozhin reiterated his desperate plea to regular army, seeking to supply his forces with more ammunition and reinforcements along with covering support if his private army has to win the war against Ukraine.

“I’m knocking on all doors and sounding the alarm about ammunition and reinforcements, as well as the need to cover our flanks,” he said in a statement yesterday released by his press service.

“If everyone is coordinated, without ambition, screw-ups and tantrums, and carries out this work, then we will block the armed forces of Ukraine. If not, then everyone will be s*****d,” the Wagner chief warned.

Wagner group, comprising strongly of prison convicts released from Russia’s prisons to fight the grinding war in Ukraine, is leading the Bakhmut assault but has faced hiccups this week.

The appeal from him comes amid signs of a deepening rift between him and the Russian defence ministry whom he has bitterly criticised for months and accused of deliberately starving his men of ammunition, an allegation it has rejected.

Arpan Rai7 March 2023 03:28


Control of Bakhmut is of ‘symbolic’ rather than ‘strategic’ value, says US defence chief

Control of Bakhmut is more of “symbolic” than “strategic” value, the US defence secretary has said.

Speaking to reporters in the Middle East on Monday, Lloyd Austin said he would not predict when or if Ukrainian troops might leave Bakhmut, but that should it fall that “won’t necessarily mean that the Russians have changed the tide of this fight”.

“I think it is more of a symbolic value than it is strategic and operational value,” Mr Austin said.

Andy Gregory7 March 2023 03:52


Bakhmut defence ‘yielding great results’, says Zelensky

Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Bakhmut is “yielding one of the greatest results” of Russia’s war.

Speaking in his nightly address, the president said: “Bakhmut has yielded and is yielding one of the greatest results during this war, during the entire battle for Donbas And I thank every soldier who is fighting in this most difficult area. Who is fighting for all parts of our country, in all directions.

“We are defending and will continue to defend every part of Ukraine. When the time comes, we will liberate every city and village of our country. And we will hold the occupier accountable for every shot against Ukraine, for every meanness against Ukrainians.

“If we can do it legally, then we will do it legally. If we can do it with weapons, then we will do it with weapons.

“Due to our unity, due to our determination, due to the fact that we value the whole of Ukraine and every Ukrainian, we know exactly the outcome of this war. We have known it since the first days of the war.”

Andy Gregory7 March 2023 02:41


Watch: ‘Scared’ kitten rescued from shelled building by Ukrainian crew

‘Scared’ kitten rescued from shelled building by Ukrainian crew

Andy Gregory7 March 2023 01:34


Zelensky pledges to ‘find the murderers’ of ‘prisoner of war’ in viral clip

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky has condemned an unverified video on social medai he claims showed Russian occupiers brutally killing an unarmed Ukrainian soldier.

In his nightly address, the president referred to viral footage which appeared to show the individual hailing Ukraine before being shot by a Russian-speaker, saying: “I want us all in unity to respond to his words, ‘Glory to the hero. Glory to the heroes. Glory to Ukraine.’ And we will find the murderers.”

The head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak, said the man was a Ukrainian prisoner of war and that the incident was part of a “deliberate policy of terror” by Russia.

“The murder of a captive is the latest Russian war crime,” Mr Yermak tweeted. “For every such war crime there will be retribution.”

Andy Gregory7 March 2023 00:38


Top Ukrainian prosecutor announces probe into ‘brazen shooting of an unarmed person’

Ukraine’s top prosecutor has announced the launch of a criminal investigation into what he called the “brutal and brazen shooting of an unarmed person”.

An unverified clip widely shared on social media shows an apparently unarmed man in uniform with a Ukrainian flag insignia on his arm standing smoking in a wooded area. The man says, “Glory to Ukraine”. Multiple shots are heard coming from an unseen shooter or shooters, and the man slumps to the ground as bullets appear to hit his body. A voice is heard saying, “Die, b****,” in Russian.

Russia’s Defence Ministry did not immediately respond to a query about the video, while Ukrainian authorities did not say where or when the shooting occurred.

Andriy Kostin, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, said on his Telegram channel that Ukraine’s security service had registered the shooting as a criminal case under a part of the country’s criminal code that covers violations of the laws and customs of war.

“Even the war has its own laws,” he said, adding that prosecutors from his office would lead the case. “There are rules of international law systematically ignored by the Russian criminal regime. But sooner or later, there will be punishment.”

Andy Gregory6 March 2023 23:33


Ukraine’s forces say they are holding out in ‘utter hell’ of fight for Bakhmut

Ukrainian has said its forces are holding out in the brutal fight for the eastern city of Bakhmut – as the head of the mercenary Wagner group complained that Russia’s frontlines around the area could collapse without more ammunition from Moscow.

Russia is trying to encircle Bakhmut to secure what would be its first major gain in its invasion for more six months, at the culmination of some of the bloodiest fighting of the war during the winter months. Moscow sees the capture of the city in Donetsk as a stepping stone towards control of the wider Donbas – Ukraine’s industrial heartland which encompasses the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The months of intense fighting, for Bakhmut particularly but also in other areas, has depleted both sides’ artillery reserves, with thousands of shells fired daily. Volodymyr Nazarenko, a Ukrainian commander in Bakhmut, said there had been no order to retreat from the city and “the defence is holding”, albeit in grim conditions.

You can read our full report here:

Chris Stevenson6 March 2023 22:47


Zelensky says his advisers have unanimously agreed ‘not to retreat’ in Bakhmut

Volodymr Zelensky said his advisers have unanimously agreed to press on with the fight in Bakhmut, “not to retreat” and to bolster Ukrainian defences.

The Ukrainian president’s top adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said no decision has been made to retreat because of “a consensus among the military about the need to continue defending the city” and grinding down enemy forces “while building new lines of defence”.

By pressing the defence, Ukraine has exhausted Russia’s main combat-ready groups and trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian military personnel for a possible counteroffensive, Mr Podolyak said.

Ukrainian servicemen fire a 2S5 Giatsint-S self-propelled howitzer outside Bakhmut on Sunday

(REUTERS/Anna Kudriavtseva)

Andy Gregory6 March 2023 21:56


Kyiv officials broaden cluster bomb plea to US, Democrats say

Ukraine has broadened a plea for controversial cluster bombs from the United States to include a weapon it wants to cannibalise to drop the munitions using drones, two US politicians have told Reuters.

Officials from Kyiv asked US politicians to press the White House to approve sending the MK-20, an air-delivered cluster bomb, at last month’s Munich Security Conference, said Jason Crow and Adam Smith, Democrats who both sit on the House of Representatives’ armed services committee.

Cluster munitions are banned by more than 120 countries and their indiscriminate nature is viewed as a threat to civilians, and it is by no means certain that the Biden administration will approve such a request, Reuters reported.

A spokesperson for Washington’s National Security Council told the outlet that, while Ukraine and the White House “closely coordinate” on military aid, she had no “new capabilities to announce.”

Andy Gregory6 March 2023 20:52


Britain’s defence secretary ‘pretty confident’ about receiving Budget boost

UK defence secretary Ben Wallace has said he is “pretty confident” his department will be given the investment boost it requires in next week’s Budget to carry out army upgrades, reports Patrick Daly.

The Cabinet minister has lobbied chancellor Jeremy Hunt in public for extra cash for the Ministry of Defence to help deal with inflationary pressures and the costs of backing Ukraine in its battle against Russia’s invading forces.

Mr Wallace reportedly wanted up to £11bn extra over the next two years but, according to The Times, Mr Hunt has agreed a rise of closer to £4-5bn as part of his Budget package.

Andy Gregory6 March 2023 20:22

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