Lauren C. Moye, FISM News
Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut are in danger of encirclement after Russian troops and the Wagner Group have made further advances against the city.
This morning, the British Defense Ministry said that the Ukrainian defense of the town is “under increasingly severe pressure” with intense fighting continuing both within and around the city. Russian-allied forces are capable of attacking from three sides of the town while Ukrainian supply and escape routes are under bombardment.
Russian troops are also attempting to capture the villages of Ivanivske and Bohdanivka, both on the western side of the city. So far the Ukrainian Army has repelled these attacks, but a successful Russian assault on these villages would bring Bakhmut closer to a full encirclement.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 04 March 2023
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— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) March 4, 2023
Ukraine is not prepared to surrender Bakhmut as elite troops move to reinforce the city.
“Nobody will give away Bakhmut. We will fight for as long as we can. We consider Bakhmut our fortress,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told a news conference in Kyiv on Feb. 3.
Ukrainian soldiers still in the city are engaged in intense fights, sometimes as close as 50 feet from opposing forces. These soldiers are attempting to suppress Russian-led assaults to prevent further gains from being made.
Moscow and Kyiv have battled over Bakhmut for the past seven months.
WHITE HOUSE HOSTS GERMAN CHANCELLOR SCHOLZ
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited the White House on Friday to show a united front between the two countries in support of Ukraine.
“At the one-year mark of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the leaders discussed ongoing efforts to provide security, humanitarian, economic, and political assistance to Ukraine and the importance of maintaining global solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” the White House readout of the meeting stated.
Scholz last visited the White House in the weeks right before Moscow first launched its invasion, over a year ago.
“I want to thank you, Olaf, for your strong and steady leadership. I mean that sincerely. It’s made a world of difference,” President Joe Biden said during the visit.
He called the military support and moral support Germany has provided to Ukraine “profound.”
Scholz added that Germany and the U.S. will continue to aid Kyiv and would “continue to do so as long as it takes.”
Neither Biden nor Scholz took press questions during the German Chancellor’s visit.
CIVILIAN CASUALTIES NOW INCLUDE 8,000 DEATHS
A new report from the United Nations Human Rights Office gave an updated civilian death count last week. There are now 8,101 verified civilian fatalities in the Russian invasion. This includes 488 children.
There were an additional 13,479 verified injuries.
This civilian casualty count does not include locations “where hostilities have been going on” which have delayed reports. This means those found in the mass graves of Mariupol, for example, are not included in this count.
The majority of the casualties were the result of explosive weapons like heavy artillery shelling.
“OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration,” the report reads.