Bakhmut: The battle for Bakhmut rages ’round the clock’; US prepares $400 million new arms aid for Ukraine – Times of India

CHASIV YAR: Ukrainian forces cling to eastern city Bakhmut dug new trenches in an attempt to hold back Russian attackers, as the United States said new military aid for Ukraine would be discussed during a meeting with the German leader on Friday.
Russian forces have been attacking Bakhmut in Donetsk province for months, sometimes in waves, and the site has become one of the bloodiest battles of the war.
“Fighting is going on 24 hours a day in Bakhmut… The situation is critical,” Volodymyr Nazarenko, a deputy commander of Ukraine’s National Guard, told Ukraine’s NV Radio.
“They do not consider their losses when trying to take the city by assault. The task of our forces in Bakhmut is to inflict as many losses on the enemy as possible. Every meter of Ukrainian land costs the enemy hundreds of lives .”
In the past 24 hours, Ukrainian troops have repelled more than 85 attacks in the five main sectors of the Bakhmut frontline, the Ukrainian army’s general staff said on Friday.
Russia, which lost ground in the second half of 2022, says taking Bakhmut would be a step towards conquering the rest of the surrounding industrial region known as the Donbas. Ukraine says the city has limited strategic value but wants to exhaust Russian forces.
New trenches had been dug along the road in nearby towns and villages, spaced 20 to 40 meters apart, a sign that Ukrainian forces were reinforcing defensive positions.
“We need as much ammunition as possible. There are many more Russians here than we have ammunition to destroy them,” Nazarenko said. “The number of enemy soldiers is not what matters. What matters is technology.”
The General Staff said in its morning report that Russia continued to attack civilians, something Moscow denies, with air and missile strikes in Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblasts.
“The enemy continues to violate the norms of international humanitarian law. There are injured civilians, high-rise apartment buildings and private houses have been damaged,” it said.
In the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, more than 45 settlements came under Russian fire in the past 24 hours, the general staff said.
It said Russian mercenaries stole cars in the occupied Zaporizhzhia Oblast region from residents who did not have Russian passports and forced people in the Boiove settlement of Kherson Oblast to relinquish their land titles.
“As of March 1 of this year, about 200 people from this village have been taken to an unknown destination for the so-called filtration measures and Russian mercenaries have been housed in their homes.”
Reuters was unable to independently verify the battlefield reports.
Concerns about China
Washington will announce a new $400 million military aid package for the Kiev government, and is expected to be a key topic between US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz when they meet at the White House, officials said.
The aid is expected to consist mainly of munitions, including Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) for HIMARS launchers, munitions for Bradley Fighting Vehicles, as well as armored vehicle launch bridges, two US officials and a person familiar with the incident said. the package.
The United States has supplied Ukraine with nearly $32 billion worth of weapons to defend itself against Russia, which invaded its pro-Western neighbor on February 24 last year.
Biden and Scholz could also address concerns that China could provide deadly aid to Russia, a senior government official said.
The Biden administration is polling close allies about the possibility of imposing new sanctions on China if Beijing provides military support to Russia, US officials and other sources said. China has denied considering such aid, and US officials have provided no public evidence for their suspicions.
Asked by reporters if potential sanctions against China would be a topic for Biden and Scholz, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said that “the issue of third-party support for Russia could come up.”
International chill
The years-long conflict has killed thousands, displaced millions, pulverized Ukrainian cities, shook the global economy and created a Cold War chill in international relations.
Russia says its “special military operation” aims to demote Ukraine’s military and remove a threat to its own security. Ukraine and its allies accuse Moscow of an unprovoked war to seize territory.
Just before the invasion of Russia, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin met to seal a “no borders” partnership between their countries that has sparked alarm in the West.
At the meeting of G20 foreign ministers, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to end the war and urged Moscow to suspend the new START treaty (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) for nuclear weapons, a senior US official said.
It was the first face-to-face meeting between the top diplomats since the invasion. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Lavrov and Blinken spoke for less than 10 minutes “on the road”.
Russia accused the West of blackmail and threats and said it had China’s support for its position as the meeting ended without a joint statement.
Blinken said at a forum in the Indian capital on Friday that Russia should not be allowed to go to war with impunity or it would “send a message to potential aggressors everywhere that they might get away with it too”.

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