#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Bachmut: bottleneck narrows to 4 km USA: Moscow raises draft age in 2024 those aged 19 to 30 will be called up

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On 13 March at 09:58 another military transport plane from Iran arrived in Moscow with an unknown cargo on board. While the Duma was considering the draft law on raising the draft age in Russia. The minimum is increased from 18 to 21 years and the maximum from 27 to 30 years. The increase will be extended in time until 2026. In 2024, they will be called to military service from the age of 19 to 30, in 2025 – from 20, in 2026 – from 21.

The increase in the age of conscription suggests that Russia is in no hurry to end the war with Ukraine. After all, the Kremlin on 13 March in a statement on the peace agreements replied: ‘The goals set by Russia in Ukraine can now only be achieved by military means’.

Also on 13 March air warnings were issued over most regions in Ukraine. Even if social media close to the Russian social sphere report afterwards, the actual alarms are only to be found in the Sumy region, where there are several explosions.

The international media are preparing the Ukrainians and the world that finances the war in Ukraine for defeat at Bachmut. US economist Ricardo A. Crespo in an editorial for the San Diego Times wrote: “Ukraine has three key weaknesses that play into Russia’s hands and lead it to victory; The first is Ukraine’s relatively small domestic reserves. Moscow has much more. The second weakness is low industrial capacity. Kiev cannot even provide itself with ammunition, so it must rely on the generosity of the West for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (APU) to perform its functions. Third, the Ukrainian allies do not have an established position on the conflict. Many in the West admit that Zelensky’s demands for the return of former Ukrainian territories are unworkable,’ the publication states.

In Ukraine, Ukrainian TV was preparing citizens, which already stated directly on 12 March that ‘there will be a cauldron in Bakhmut’. The commander of one of the units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Denis Yaroslavsky, gave the news: ‘In Bakhmut, we find the same situation that was in Debaltsevo in February 2015, when Ukrainian troops were effectively surrounded. “Now in Bakhmut there are battles right on the streets. There are shooting battles on every street in every direction. A particular danger is that the neck of the so-called operational boiler is no more than four kilometres. Without logistics, there is nothing – neither rotation ” nor the supply of ammunition. The enemy understands this and is trying to disrupt logistics first. We understand that there could be a repeat of Debaltsevo. When the lines are disrupted and there is a targeted exit of troops, the entire convoy can be jeopardised. And 4 km away is very little, it is very dangerous,’ is how Yaroslavsky describes the situation.

In 2015 near Debaltsevo, Ukrainian troops were commanded by Alexander Syrsky, who is now responsible for the defence of Bakhmut. Perhaps in the last two days the bottleneck may have narrowed further. “Russian forces are 1.2 km from the administrative centre of Artemovsk (Bachmut),” said Wagner’s number one, Prigozhin

According to Russian military analysts at mid-afternoon on 13 March, the situation in Bachmut was as follows: ‘Over the past day, Russian assault groups have made some progress in the industrial area and the AZOM plant area. The Ukrainians confirm the gradual advance of our assault groups into the city blocks, despite attempts to organise a tough defence and stop the Wagner advance’.

And again the social sphere reads: ‘Fighting continues in the Krasnoye area. The Ukrainians securely control the village and try to push the Wagner back from the Chasov-Yar-Krasnoye-Bachmut road by counterattacks in order to use it in the future if the situation with Khromovo deteriorates. Khromovo is also under the enemy: the battles are going north. Since the loss of Khromovo means the automatic formation of a cauldron, they will hold it to the last’.

Bogdanovka also remains under the control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces at the moment, while battles are being recorded in Orekhovo-Vasilyevka and Zaliznyansky. Meanwhile, due to the shelling of the roads from Bachmut, on the roads and fields west of the city, the number of destroyed wheeled and tracked vehicles continues to increase. And this plays into the hands of the Russian troops because the Ukrainian military remains without equipment and ammunition.

The Ukrainians are concentrating additional forces in Chasov Yar (as well as in the Ray-Aleksandrovka area) and should try this week to repel Wagner in at least one of the directions from Bachmut. There is a transfer of reserves taken from the Belarus border and the Chernihiv region.

The attacks of the Russian armed forces in the area of Chasov Yar and Konstantinovka are mainly aimed at the redistributed Ukrainian reserves, which are deployed in industrial areas and the private sector. In general, the battle for Bachmut continues to put great pressure on the operational plans of the Ukrainian command, which also affects the situation in other areas.

And now a look at the situation at the front.

In the Lyman sector, the Russian motorised infantry successfully repelled all Ukrainian counter-attacks and began the offensive, expanding the zone of control to Balka Zhuravka.

The Ukrainians are strengthening the defence in Nevs’ke: Ukrainian special forces units reinforced with armoured vehicles can be seen in the village.

South-west of Kreminna, Russian troops resumed their offensive on Ukrainian positions in Serebryanka forestry. Following successful military operations, several Ukrainian fortified areas were seized.

North-west of Bachmut, Wagner PMC teams broke through the Ukrainian defence and took most of Orikhovo-Vasylivka. Russian units are storming the last AFU strongholds in the cemetery area on the western outskirts of the village.

Southwest area: Russian troops have approached the highway to Kostyantynivka. Advanced units have established physical control over several sections of the road. The Ukrainian command is attempting to counterattack by moving additional reserves into the sector.

Ukrainian forces launched an attack against the civilian infrastructure in Pereval’s’k using the HIMARS MLRS. As a result of the attack, a bus station and two petrol stations were damaged, three people died, seven were injured.

North of Avdiivka, Russian units managed to capture several fortified AFU areas in Krasnohorivka. The Ukrainians redeployed elite assault units to hold positions in the central part of the village.

Near Vesele, Russian troops seized a dam on a reservoir near Kam’yanka, approaching the settlement from the south. Successful actions in this area will bring the Avdiivka grouping to the side and allow them to take advantage of a further offensive.

Graziella Giangiulio

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