Day 405: battles intensify on eastern front

Russian forces resolve ammunition shortage and intensify attacks on eastern front. Ukraine is poised for counteroffensive, an article by The New York Times says. Kramatorsk is flooded as a water discharge sluice gets destroyed. 

Heavy battles rage on eastern front

Russian forces are on the offensive on the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiyivka, and Maryinka axes. Ukrainian troops repelled 69 attacks in the past day. Fiercest fighting rages for the towns of Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Maryinka, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in a morning report on Tuesday.

What the Russian troops lack in quality of equipment and leadership, they try to make up in quantity, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with RFE/RL.

Russia has resolved the ammunition shortage that the Wagner group’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin once lamented about, as Russia doubled the number of air strikes and artillery attacks on Bakhmut, a member of Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces (SOF) who goes by the call sign Sokil said in a video released by the SOF.

Wagner group fighters seized the Bakhmut City Administration Building on the night of April 2. They will likely continue attempts to consolidate control of central Bakhmut as heavy fighting rages, the Institute for the Study of War said in a report on April 3. Ukrainian troops earlier said that Russian forces are “very far” from capturing Bakhmut, despite Wagner group founder Prigozhin asserting the opposite.

“Prigozhin probably goes to Bakhmut, because it is too dangerous for him in St Petersburg where restaurants are exploding. He plants flags on buildings that ceased to exist a long time ago. The city administration he mentions is just destroyed,” Cherevatyi said. Bakhmut remains the main target of the Russian offensive and the primary goal of Wagner fighters, he added.

Ukraine poised for counteroffensive, but there are challenges to face

With powerful Western weapons, and newly formed assault units, Ukraine is poised for a critical spring counteroffensive. Yet replacing exhausted soldiers and keeping the morale high could pose a challenge for Ukraine, an article by The New York Times reads. 

In vicious but mostly static fighting in snowy, artillery-cratered fields and ruined cities, Ukraine rebuffed a Russian offensive over the winter. Now, it is Ukraine’s turn to go on the attack. Signs are everywhere that it is coming in the next month or so. New Western weapons that could prove critical in assaults, like German Leopard 2 tanks and American mine-clearing vehicles, are arriving in Ukraine. Thousands of recruits are training in newly constituted units tailored for offensives. 

The new Ukrainian campaign, when it comes, will be a test of its army’s ability to re-arm and reconstitute battalions while maintaining the motivation and maneuvering skills that gave it an edge in three previous counteroffensives.

If weapons and trained troops fall into place in time, Ukraine is capable of inflicting losses on the Russian Army that could have far-reaching geopolitical consequences, Evelyn Farkas, the director of the McCain Institute, told The New York Times. She posited a once-unthinkable outcome: that Ukraine could render Russia a weakened military power in Eastern Europe with little leverage in negotiations to end the war.

Still, success is hardly assured, the article reads. Allies have dragged their feet in sending weaponry, and soldiers have had to make do with crash courses in assault tactics. Morale, an area in which Ukrainian fighters held an edge for much of the war, is becoming more of a challenge, The New York Times said.

Hundreds of houses in Kramatorsk flooded as water discharge sluice gets destroyed

Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk regional military administration, posted to Telegram, saying “on one of the ponds [in Kramatorsk], the water discharge sluice was partially destroyed, causing an uncontrolled discharge of water.” About 260 houses on 30 streets were flooded in a town of the Kramatorsk hromada (community).

The water keeps coming. Rescue workers, municipal services and specialized departments of regional and local military administrations are working on the site.

Will russia actually station nuclear weapons in Belarus? Ukraine in Flames #390

Belarus and russia have intensified their cooperation since the start of russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The russian military has used its troops and missiles stationed in Belarus. In one of the russia’s most pronounced nuclear signals since the beginning of the war, vladimir putin said that russia will begin to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. Watch Ukraine in flames #390 to find out about the latest russian attempt to use nuclear threats to intimidate Ukraine’s allies.


  • Archil Tsintsadze, Military and Security Policy Expert
  • Ivan Kyrychevskyi, Defence Express Military Expert
  • Oleksandr Kovalenko, Military and Political Commentator of the “Information Resistance” Group
  • Volodymyr Tsybulko, Political Expert