Both sides announced on Friday that Russian forces were trying to capture the town of Vuhledar in the Donetsk region. Kiev said Moscow was “exaggerating” the success of its offensive, although Moscow would welcome future capture of the city. Le Monde.
Denis Busilin, the self-proclaimed president of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” in the occupied part of the region, said Thursday night that he was “waiting for good news” from Wuhleder, a mining town of 15,000 residents before the Russian invasion. “The encirclement of the city and the future liberation will solve some things,” he told the official RIA Novosti news agency, stressing that a victory would “change the balance of forces on the frontline”, paving the way for an attack on the cities. Pokrovsk and Kurakhov in the north of May. One of his advisers, Ian Gagin, told the TASS news agency that “intense and brutal fighting” was taking place there and that Russian forces had “positioned themselves in the southeast and east of the city”.
Ukrainian military spokesman for the eastern region, Serhii Serevaty, confirmed “heavy fighting” around the town of Vuhledar, but said the Russians had been driven out. “The enemy is really trying to win this sector, but it is not succeeding because of the efforts of the Ukrainian defense forces,” he said on television, before adding: “The enemy is exaggerating, so to speak, its success (… ) Faced with his losses, the enemy is retreating.
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar stressed the “numerical superiority” of Russian forces in the east and said in a message posted on Telegram that “fighting is intensifying” in the Donetsk region. It cited an active war zone around the town of Bahmut, which Moscow’s troops are trying to capture from the summer of 2022, but also the area around Wuhleder. This is the first time the city has been openly referred to by Ukrainian officials as part of “serious” fighting.
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