Day 373: difficult situation in Bakhmut, where Ukrainian troops continue to hold ground

Difficult situation in Bakhmut, where Ukrainian troops continue to hold ground

On Friday, March 3, commander of Ukraine’s ground forces Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi visited the embattled city of Bakhmut, in Donetsk region. He previously visited the city just six days ago, on February 25. 

Syrskyi made a visit to the Ukrainian troops defending Bakhmut, the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Telegram post.

Syrskyi who directly oversees the defense operation in the east, heard reports by unit commanders about “the problematic issues related to increasing the defense capability of Ukrainian units on the front line.”

His visit also comes as a show of support for service members fighting in Bakhmut, demonstrating exemplary resilience, courage, and heroism. Russia continues to mass forces to capture the city, Ukraine’s Ground Forces said in a statement.

“The Russian forces threw the most prepared units of the Wagner group and regular military units into the attack to capture the city,” the statement reads.

The Ukrainian military sent reinforcements to Bakhmut, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said on February 28. Holding Bakhmut is a military, not political decision, she added. 

Ukrainian troops down Russian strike fighter jet

Ukraine’s Air Force confirmed that the Ukrainian troops downed a Su-34 strike fighter aircraft over the occupied city of Yenakiyeve in Donetsk region. A video earlier posted to social media showed an aircraft falling from the sky.

The Nikopol air defense missile regiment of the Air Force Command East shot down a Russian Su-34 at 1:30 p.m. on March 3, the Ukrainian Air Force said.

One of the pilots was killed. It was not immediately clear if the second pilot survived.

A video earlier posted to local Telegram channels showed an aircraft falling from the sky in occupied Yenakiyeve in Donetsk region. It was not clear if the aircraft was Russian or Ukrainian. Witnesses said that the pilots ejected from the aircraft.

A Russian-installed mayor of Yenakiyeve confirmed the air crash and urged the residents to take shelter.

U.S. announces new USD 400 million Ukraine security aid package

The U.S. on Friday announced a USD 400 million security aid package for Ukraine, providing more equipment and munitions for Kyiv in its fight against Russia.

This military assistance package includes more ammunition for U.S.-provided HIMARS and howitzers, as well as ammunition for Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, Armored Vehicle Launched Bridges, demolitions munitions and equipment, and other maintenance, training, and support.

Ecocide: how russia is ruining Ukrainian soils and lands. Ukraine in Flames #358

Since the beginning of the full-scale russian invasion, Ukraine has faced mass shelling, missile strikes, radiation contamination, air pollution, littering of territories, unburied bodies, mining and other challenges. One of the most important challenges is determining the extent of damage caused to land and soil as a result of hostilities. Watch Ukraine in flames #358 to find out about assessment of the soil damage caused by russia’s armed aggression and strategy to restore post-war land and return it to agricultural use.


  • Oleksandr Bonchkovskyi, Head of the Natural Sciences Department of the Society of Researchers of Ukraine
  • Anastasia Splodytel, Candidate of Geographical Sciences, Researcher at Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Ore Formation NAS of Ukraine