IAccording to British findings, Ukrainian drone strikes have so far prevented Russian troops from dominating the Black Sea. Russia is still trying to concentrate its forces on strategically important areas snake island near the port city of Odessa strengthen, the Ministry of Defense in London reported on Wednesday, citing British intelligence. Since the sinking of the missile cruiser “Moskva” and the withdrawal of the navy to the annexed Crimean peninsula, Russian supply ships have had little protection.
“Russia’s current efforts to build up its forces on Snake Island provide Ukraine with more opportunities to attack Russian troops and destroy equipment,” the ministry said. Ukraine has successfully deployed Bayraktar combat drones. However, if Russia manages to consolidate its position with strategic air defense and cruise missiles for coastal defense, this could be a game-changer.
Reports from both sides had recently suggested heavy fighting around Snake Island, which lies 35 kilometers off the coast just off the Danube Delta in the Odessa region. Russian forces had captured the Ukrainian base more than two and a half months ago, just at the start of the war.
Ukraine reports land gains around Kharkiv in the northeast
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have also reported land gains around the second largest city Charkiw in the east of the country. “The occupiers are gradually being pushed out of Kharkiv,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyj said in a video message late Wednesday. “The villages of Cherkasy Tyshky, Rusky Tyshky, Rubishne and Bayrak have been liberated,” the Ukrainian General Staff posted on Facebook.
While the Russian armed forces could hit the city of Kharkiv “even less” with artillery attacks, “the intensity of shelling in the Kharkiv district has increased”. According to the Ukrainian regional administration, Russian troops also leave “death traps” – mines.
The northern and northeastern parts of Kharkiv have been frequent targets of Russian rocket attacks in recent weeks. Russian troops also advanced a few kilometers from the town. However, the US Institute for War Research (ISW) said over the weekend that the Ukrainian military “is making significant progress in this part of the country and is likely to advance to the Russian border in the coming days or weeks”.
As the Ukrainians regain control of the territories lost in the northeast of the country, the Russians advance about 150 kilometers to the southeast Donbass room by room. Ukraine’s Southern Command reported “ruthless” attacks by Russian forces on homes, farms and electricity sources. Meanwhile, the deputy mayor of the now almost completely destroyed port city of Mariupol, Petro Andryushchenko, reported that the last Ukrainian forces at the Azov steel plant continued to face “dozens” of attacks.
In the south of the country, the “psychological pressure on the neighboring population Transnistrian‘ according to the Ukrainian army. As a result, there is a threat of a “blockade of the region due to the dismantling of the Dniester bridge, which again came under rocket attack.”
US intelligence services believe Russia wants to establish a land connection between occupied territories in Donbass and near the Crimean Peninsula and the pro-Russian breakaway region of Transnistria in eastern Moldova.
Defenders of Mariupol entrenched in Azovstal
Fighting in Eastern Ukraine Mariupol meanwhile continued. According to Ukrainian sources, the last defenders of the city, entrenched in the steelworks, must remain in place until their surrender. The Russian military has rejected any proposal for the unhindered withdrawal of fighters from the Azovstal plant, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, according to Ukrajinska Pravda.
“The defenders of Mariupol stay there, they continue the resistance in the Azovstal region.” kyiv continues to use all available diplomatic options to enable the rescue of soldiers. Russia insists on the surrender of the defenders of Azovstal.
Zelenskyi has previously said that Ukraine currently lacks the heavy weapons needed to successfully liberate Mariupol. More than two months into the war and after heavy fighting for the port city of Mariupol, the last Ukrainian soldiers have entrenched themselves in the Azovstal factory and are offering fierce resistance to Russian soldiers and pro-Russian separatists .
On Tuesday, defenders of the steelworks reported heavy shelling by Russian troops. The area had been under attack from the air all night, deputy commander of the Azov regiment Svyatoslav Palamar told Ukrayinska Pravda. There are many serious injuries. It is urgent to bring them to safety.
More recently, several hundred civilians were evacuated from the site with UN and Red Cross mediation. Contrary to recent reports about the complete evacuation of all civilians from the Mariupol factory, regional administration chief Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Monday evening that there were still 100 people who were not fighters.
Near Mariupol in the outskirts of the southeastern Ukrainian city Saporischschja At least one person was killed and eight others injured in further Russian attacks on Tuesday evening. According to the regional administration, mainly residential buildings in Orekhovo were affected, Ukrajinska Pravda reported. Due to the intensity of the shelling, the delivery of humanitarian aid to the city has been temporarily interrupted. The information could not be independently verified.
Russian military reports destruction of Ukrainian ammunition depots
According to their own statements, the Russian armed forces on Wednesday evening destroyed more than a dozen ammunition depots and command posts in Ukraine. “Rocket forces and artillery units shelled 407 areas with concentrations of troops and military equipment, destroying 13 command posts, four Ossa-AKM rocket launcher positions and 14 ammunition depots,” it said. Wednesday in Moscow the spokesman of the Ministry of Defense, Igor Konashenkov. In addition, two command posts and three ammunition depots were destroyed by army aviation and tactical air forces.
In total, Russian air and artillery strikes killed 280 Ukrainian soldiers and disabled nearly 60 military vehicles overnight. The information could not initially be independently verified. Konashenkov also spoke of shooting down nine Ukrainian drones, including one over the prominent Black Sea Snake Island.
Zelenskyy praises the “superhuman strength” of Ukrainian troops
Ukrainian President Zelenskyj praised in his daily video address courage and sacrifice of the troops his country. “I am grateful to all our protectors who defend themselves and show truly superhuman strength to repel the invading army,” he said on Tuesday evening. And this in the fight against “the second most powerful army in the world”.
Despite new successes on various fronts, Zelenskyy did not want to allow euphoria and “excessive emotions” to come out. “There is no need to create an atmosphere of specific moral suasion when certain victories are expected on a weekly and even daily basis,” he warned.
Ukraine’s president referred to reports of success from his general staff, which on Tuesday reported territory gains in the vicinity of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. The occupants would be “gradually” expelled from the area. According to the Ukrainian army, several towns have been taken over. The information could not initially be independently verified. “The Armed Forces of Ukraine are doing everything to liberate our country and our people,” Zelenskyy said. “All our cities will be liberated – Kherson, Melitopol, Berdyansk, Mariupol and all the others.”