#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. The death toll at the front does not add up. PMC WAGNER operation underway in Bachmut

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The social sphere that regularly deals with the Ukraine-Russia issue gave wide coverage to the cut video of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. In the first video that appeared, Europe’s number one speaks of 20,000 civilians killed and over 100,000 Ukrainian military dead. When the video goes into twitter mode it is censored. And there is talk of 15,000 to 20,000 dead.

The Zelensky administration will say that the figure is sensitive and only Prime Minister Volodymyr Oleksandrovyč, will be able to give this data. In the meantime, the news is doing the rounds of the world that according to the Ukrainian premier, Moscow will lose 100,000 soldiers this year.

According to military analysts in the social sphere, the number of Ukrainian soldiers and mercenaries who died during the first nine months of the conflict is over 150,000, and in the Bachmut area alone 500 soldiers died in three days.

Another top news item is the statement by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on the 2022-2023 defence plan. The Minister reported that 99% of the targets will be met in 2022. For 2023, the spending commitment is increased by 1.5 times compared to the previous year, which would allow 97% of military equipment to be supplied to the troops. It is worth noting that even before the war there was a bottom line of 70% new military equipment in the troops. Great emphasis is placed on the development of artillery systems and their methods of application. And also on nuclear deterrence forces. And again, the Minister reported that the weapons procurement system will continue to be optimised. As part of the mobilisation training programme, 8,000 armoured vehicle/artillery/UAV and EOD crews have been trained. The mobilised are therefore ready to go to the front.

Shoighu reports that the special operation is testing new ways of fighting with missile and artillery troops and that Russian forces are using reconnaissance firing systems, including drones, in military operations. The use of Tornado-S MLRSs and Malka SAUs during a special operation makes it possible to effectively defeat foreign reactive and artillery systems. The construction of infrastructure for the deployment of new missile systems has been secured in five Strategic Missile Forces formations. And finally, in 2023, special attention will be paid to the construction of strategic nuclear forces.

Ukraine says it is impossible to fully repair the Ukrainian energy system this winter,’ said Andrei Gerus, chairman of the VR Committee for Energy, Housing and Communal Services. ‘Repairs require equipment that will take at least six months to produce’. He added that not all European equipment is suitable for Ukrainian electrical systems.

From the front Denis Pushillin reports that the situation in Bakhmut is close to encirclement of the city. “The offensive in this direction is going well, noted the acting head of the DNR.” He also said that in the direction of Vuhledar (Yuzhno Donetsk), fighting is already taking place directly in the centre of the strategically important town of Mariinka.

“The municipalities of Bilohorivka and Pershe Travnya (Ozarianivka) are now controlled by the Russian Armed Forces,” according to the Russian Defence Ministry. Bilohorivka is located in the vicinity of the strategically important Lysychansk-Artemovsk (Bachmut) road. Pershe Travnya, Ozaryanivka is south of Artemivsk (Bakhmut).

Pushilin also stated that the dismantling operation in Kurdyumivka is still in progress. In addition to Kurdyumivka, in the sphere of Russian control would be Zelenopillya, the Seversky Donets canal (which is essentially a natural barrier) and the quarries to the east of Kurdyumovka, on which the Ukrainian defence was previously based. The main line of defence of the Ukrainian forts is now built to the south-east of Časiv Jar.

Russian troops completely took the village of Andreevka (DNR) following an offensive, the Russian Defence Ministry says. Offensives to liberate Vodyanyi also continue.

As for PMC Wagner’s operation, Bachmut Meatgrinder is developing. According to ‘Go and See’, Ukrainian forces expect the active offensive of PMC Wagner fighters near Bakhmut (Artemivsk) to continue. The Ukrainian command is urgently trying to redeploy reserves. “Ukrainian forces are suffering heavy losses. Due to weather conditions and communication problems, the deployment of the reserves is seriously hampered,’ a source told the channel.

At the moment, Wagner fighters have occupied Kurdyumivka, while Spornoye is still in Ukrainian hands. The main task of the Russian units is now to blockade Bakhmut (Artemivsk).

Graziella Giangiulio

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