Bakhmut remains the hottest spot on Ukraine’s defense line. Fierce fighting rages outside the city, spokesperson for the Eastern Military Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Serhiy Cherevatyi said. Russia’s occupying forces are losing a lot of soldiers every day on the axis, he added.
The Russian forces conduct an assault on Bakhmut and Vuhledar in Donetsk region to slow down a coming Ukrainian counteroffensive, Andriy Yusov, representative of the Main Intelligence Department in Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said. The Russians understand that Ukraine’s counteroffensive is imminent and that Ukraine will conduct operations to retake its territory, Yusov said. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are preparing for an offensive, and will implement the plan, he said.
Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut has degraded significant Russian forces and will likely set favorable conditions for a future Ukrainian counteroffensive, the Institute for the Study of War said in a report on February 14. The claim runs counter to what some western military planners say, emphasizing that Ukraine’s resolve to defend the city is inexpedient.
Ninety-seven per cent of the entire Russian army is in Ukraine, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said. Russia has not been able to amass a single force “to punch through” Ukraine’s defenses, he said. Rather, “we’ve just seen an effort to advance,” he added. “That has come at a huge cost to the Russian army,” Wallace said.
Russian soldier death rate highest since invasion, Ukraine’s intelligence says
The Russian soldier death rate is now the highest it’s been since the invasion. Russia continues to prioritize capturing all of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, representative of the Main Intelligence Department in Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense Andriy Yusov said on television.
“On the frontline, we now see extreme escalation and serious developments in the east, around Bakhmut, and on other axes, including Vuhledar. Nothing’s changed. [Russia continues] desperate attempts to occupy Ukrainian Donbas by the end of March. That’s an order Putin gave to Gerasimov. But those dates mean nothing, and they will fail. Ukrainian Donbas holds out, and Bakhmut holds out,” Yusov said.
“That’s not the second most powerful military in the world anymore, but the enemy still has a large mobilization reserve. [The draftees] are often ill-equipped and ill-trained, but there are many of them. That does not stop the Ukrainian defense forces. They have plans and [are ready to] respond to challenges,” representative of Ukraine’s intelligence said.
“The enemy’s losses are now the highest they’ve been since the beginning of this shameful war, that’s easy to spot,” he added.
Russia sends spy balloons over Ukraine
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s air defenses spotted at least six hostile balloons in the sky over Kyiv and shot down most of them, the Kyiv city military administration said in a statement.
“Our preliminary reports say that about six enemy targets were detected in Kyiv’s airspace. Those were balloons that are moving with the wind. All objects were targeted by air defenses. Most of the spy balloons were intercepted,” the statement reads.
The balloons may have been carrying corner reflectors and reconnaissance equipment, the Kyiv city military administration added. The goal of the balloon launch was to detect and exhaust Ukraine’s air defenses.
The Ukrainian military will examine the wreckage of the downed objects to identify their type and characteristics.
Ukrainian photography and depiction of personal tragedies. Ukraine in Flames #342
Independent, distinctive, multifaceted, and at the same time sensitive, painful and affecting – this is what modern Ukrainian photography has become. Ukrainian photographers didn’t stop during the war, but completely changed their vectors and profiles. Watch Ukraine in flames #342 to find out about new projects of Ukrainian photographers that depict various aspects of war and personal tragedies of Ukrainians.
- Marta Syrko, photographer
- Roman Bordun, photographer and film director