#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Kiev leaves Bachmut. Front stopped in Zaporizhizhia


Sergei Lavrov said in a press interview that he was unequivocally for peace and added that the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine by the West is there, and there is no framework in sight. Everyone wants the situation in Ukraine to end, but what matters is not the timing, but the quality of the outcome for the Russian people. And he closed by stating ‘the further the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime by the West, the further they must be removed from Russian territories’. This translated into military terms that the Russian advance in Ukraine will continue with the aim of putting more miles between Moscow and the European Union, and NATO countries.

Sergey Naryshkin, director of Russian foreign intelligence, says that Russia would not want to ‘wage war to the last Ukrainian’. As if to imply that it will do so if the need arises.

For Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov, ‘what is happening today in Ukraine is part of a global struggle for a new world order whose contours are just becoming visible’.

Lighter thoughts in the mind of Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelensky’s advisor, Mychajlo Podolyak, concerned about social media visibility, accused Ilon Musk of artificially reducing the popularity of the Ukrainian authorities’ official Twitter pages.

More concrete was Kiev’s Deputy Finance Minister Olga Zykova, who pointed out that Ukraine needs USD 3 billion in financial aid from foreign partners every month. To date, the Ukrainian Finance Ministry has received confirmation of $30 billion in funding from the United States and the European Union, while the Ukrainian budget needs another $10 billion, which it hopes to cover with IMF funds.

EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell told Kiev that an EU training mission will train 30,000 Ukrainian military personnel. “I am pleased to inform Prime Minister Denis Shmygal that the EU military assistance mission will train an additional 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers, bringing the total number of trained personnel to 30,000,” he wrote on Twitter. It is learnt from unofficial sources that the EU has reportedly discussed clothing in meetings with Zelensky, strongly discouraging uniforms and recommending business attire.

According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in response to Lavrov, arms supplies to Kiev could lay the groundwork for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Meanwhile, we learn from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees that a total of 8,046,560 refugees from Ukraine have arrived in Europe since the start of Russia’s special military operation. Russia took in the largest number of refugees with 2,852,395. It was followed by Poland (1,563,386), Germany (1,055,323), the Czech Republic (486,133), Italy (169,306), Spain (161,012), Great Britain (158,800), Bulgaria (151,712), France (118,994), Romania (110,901), Moldova (108,824) and Slovakia (107,199). In the remaining states, the number does not exceed 100,000. According to the UNHCR, a total of 18,159,214 people have arrived from Ukraine to neighbouring countries since 24 February. At the same time, 9,951,742 people crossed the border in the opposite direction.

The response of the Moldovan judges on the investigation of the wreckage that fell on Moldovan territory and belonged to Ukraine has also arrived. The head of the country’s Ministry of the Interior, Anna Revenco, gave the news, specifying that the wreckage was parts of projectiles fired from Ukraine’s S-300 air defence system.

The Pentagon believes that Kiev does not and will not soon have the capability to regain control of Crimea, the Politico newspaper reported, citing sources familiar with the contents of a secret briefing. Kiev maintains that US intelligence has always been wrong about the capabilities of Ukrainian troops throughout the conflict. Politico wrote earlier that Vladimir Zelensky’s administration was infuriated by the words of the US Chief of Staff, Mark Milley, that Ukraine is unlikely to ‘dislodge Russian forces’ from all occupied territories. In January, Milley stated that, in his opinion, it would be very, very difficult to dislodge Russian forces from all Ukrainian territory in 2023. He also stated that the conflict in Ukraine must end diplomatically.

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a gala to celebrate the victory in the Battle of Stalingrad made a number of statements: ‘The ideology of Nazism in its modern guise poses a direct threat to the security of Russia, which is once again forced to react to the aggression of the collective West. The fact that Russia is again threatened by German Leopard tanks with crosses on board is unbelievable. Once again Russia will be at war on Ukrainian soil at the hands of the ‘descendants of Hitler’, at the hands of the Banderites. Despite the efforts of the corrupt official propaganda of the West, Russia still has many friends around the world, even in the Americas. Those who are dragging Germany into a new conflict and expect to win on the battlefield do not understand that the modern war with the Russian Federation will be different. Russia will not be able to respond to threats with armoured vehicles alone, everyone should understand that. Stalingrad has always been a symbol of the indestructibility of the people. The steadfastness of the city’s defenders is the most important moral reference point for the Russian army and people’.

And now a look at the front line direction Zaporizhizhia situation at 17:00 on 2 February 2023.

There are no significant changes in the direction of Zaporizhizhia. The Ukrainian forces, anticipating the resumption of the offensive of the Russian Armed Forces in the Orikhivs’kyi district and Polohivs’kyi district sectors, are strengthening their positions.

In the Orichiv sector, some units of the 15th Battalion of the 128th Ogsh Brigade have been reassigned to the advanced lines from Stepove to Novodanylivka after being resupplied with new personnel. According to members of the 128th brigade, the unit received American-made equipment.

Additional ATC units were deployed on the line between Bilohir’ya and Luhivs’ke, where the forces of the 108th Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are defending, and mortars and ammunition were delivered to Huljajpole and Chervone.

At the same time, some formations, such as the 9th Special Forces Regiment Ghepard of the Ukrainian National Guard, are rotating their personnel and some have only been moved for a short break.

In addition, several units of the Ukrainian 93rd Mechanised Brigade, which underwent additional recruitment in the Dnipropetrovsk region, arrived in the vicinity of Shevchenkove. The 93rd Brigade can be deployed both to reinforce the regrouping in the Zaporizhizhia Oblast and in the Vuhledar area.

In the Soledar direction the situation at 12 noon on 2 February 2023 is more active: the assault units of PMC Wagner have intensified their assault on the nearby village of Nikolayevka after the liberation of Sakko i Vantsetti. There is also fighting north of the two villages.

In the vicinity of Krasnaya Gora and Paraskoviyivka, despite the redeployment of reinforcements, the Ukrainian Armed Forces were unable to contain the offensive. The Ukrainian formations are suffering losses. The forces of the 5th Border Guard detachment, which arrived from the Chernihiv region, were withdrawn from Krasnaya Gora: more than 70% of the 5th pogo force was killed. The news cannot be confirmed or denied.

In Bachmut, Wagner expanded their area of control near the Siniat plant, they began fighting in the residential areas near the high-rise buildings on Vatutina and Nekrasova Streets and advanced along Dobroliubova Street.

The Ukrainian command moved out, reinforcements are now for the Bachmut garrison. During the night, the arrival of forces from the 30th mechanised brigade of the AFU to replace the Poltava battalion, which was almost destroyed in the fighting for Bachmut, was noted.

Meanwhile, members of the Ukrainian formations themselves are preparing reserve defence lines west of Bachmut. The tactical commanders call for the rotation of personnel to rest and restore the combat efficiency of the units.

Southwest of Bachmut, Russian troops are less than two kilometres from the Chasov Yar-Bachmut road. The assault units have advanced into the forested area.

The partial withdrawal of the Ukrainian units from Krasny has begun. At the same time, 214 separate ‘Opfor’ battalions of the Ukrainian Army were redeployed to Stupochki and Chasov Yar to contain the pace of the offensive. In addition, a force is expected to arrive from Zolochiv in the Kharkiv region.

Members of the Ukrainian formations are spreading information that the Ukrainian Armed Forces do not have time to prepare the main defence line Slavyansk-Kramatorsk-Konstantinovka-Toretsk due to the pace of the offensive. In the last 24 hours, control of three company strongholds and seven platoons, as well as 14 firing positions, has been lost. Again, we cannot deny or confirm this.

A new tactical group, Karpaty, was formed in Chasov Yar with the task of defending the city. In spite of this, the threat of an operational encirclement of Bachmut is now expected, as Ukrainian soldiers also state in radio conversations.

Graziella Giangiulio

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