Ukraine expects “extremely difficult weeks”, entrenched soldiers in Mariupol call for help

The situation on site

Here is an update on the situation based on information from Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalists on the ground, official Ukrainian and Russian statements, Western sources, analysts and international organizations.

Kyiv on Wednesday acknowledged an advance by Russian forces in eastern Ukraine with the capture of several locations in the Kharkov region and Donbass. From Izium, already under their control, Russian forces launch an attack towards Barvinkove further south. They captured the village of Zavody and the north-eastern suburbs of the village of Velyka Komychouvakha, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said in its morning report. Further east, towards Lyman, the Russian army took the town of Zaritchne and “Attempted Attacks Near Iampil”he continued.

Near Sievierodonetsk, one of the largest cities in the region with a population of 100,000 before the war, troops from Moscow have taken control of the village of Novotochkivske and are leading an offensive against Nijyn and Orikhiv, according to the same source.

Russian air activity is concentrated in the south and east of the country in support of the land forces, says the British Ministry of Defence, which specifies this “Ukraine retains control of most of its airspace”. “The Russians are pushing into the Donbass, they manage to capture a few villages, a few towns, they are making progress, but it will be a battle that will be difficult, very slow and costly losses”believes a French military source.

The Russian army announced on Wednesday that it had destroyed one during a strike ” large quantity “ Weapons supplied to Ukraine by the United States and European countries. “Sheds with a large amount of foreign weapons and ammunition supplied to the Ukrainian Armed Forces by the United States and European countries were destroyed with high-precision Kalibr rockets fired from the sea at the Zaporizhia aluminum plant », in south-eastern Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The Russian military also claims to have carried out airstrikes against 59 Ukrainian targets, including 50 where troops were stationed, and four ammunition depots. “Russia continues to attack Ukrainian military targets and infrastructure across the country”according to the British Ministry of Defence.

The Ukrainian army claimed to have bombed Russian positions on Snake Island in the Black Sea, which has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance since the invasion by Russian forces began on February 24. Russia has not confirmed gunshots hit the island.

In western Ukraine, the situation appears to be deteriorating. Authorities in Moldova’s pro-Russian separatist republic of Transnistria said on Wednesday that a village on the border with Ukraine, home to a large Russian ammunition depot, came under fire after drones flew over it. “Several drones were sighted over Kolbasna village last night”said the “Ministry of Internal Affairs” of Transnistria, adding that on Wednesday morning, “Shots were fired towards Kolbasna from Ukraine” without causing losses.

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