Putin's Forces Intensify Offensive In Eastern Ukraine As 1st Anniversary Of Russian Invasion Nears

As the first anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine War, Feb. 24, approaches, the situation at the front lines in eastern Ukraine has become increasingly tense.

What Happened: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian forces, under President Vladimir Putin, have started making aggressive moves to show their gains on the anniversary of the invasion.

In a video address, Zelenskyy said, "The enemy is trying to achieve at least something now to show that Russia has some chances on the anniversary of the invasion. He added, "The situation has become tougher."

See Also: Donald Trump Says He Trusts Putin More Than US Intelligence ‘Lowlifes’

Russia has made advances north and south of the city of Bakhmut in Donetsk. Despite persistent Russian bombardment in Bakhmut for months, the battle there has reached a crucial point now, reported Financial Times.

Russia is deploying fresh troops to try to break Ukraine's control of the city and secure Putin's first significant victory on the battlefield since early summer.

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The Ukrainian military reported that Bakhmut and 10 nearby towns and villages were hit by Russian missiles on Wednesday, along with Avdiivka and nearby settlements including Maryinka.

In Kramatorsk, about 34 miles northwest of Bakhmut, a Russian missile destroyed an apartment building and damaged seven others, killing at least three people and injuring 20, according to Reuters.

"At least eight apartment buildings were damaged. One of them was completely destroyed. People may remain under the rubble," the police said in a Facebook post, according to the Reuters report.

Why It's Important: Bakhmut has become known as "Fortress Bakhmut" as it has remained standing despite persistent and heavy fighting, according to FT. The battle cry of "Bakhmut holds" has become popular among soldiers, supporters and even President Zelenskyy during his nightly addresses.

Putin and his troops are, however, determined to make progress before Ukraine receives new Western battle tanks and armored vehicles. As a result, they have resorted to relentless shelling and even captured several towns and villages around Bakhmut in recent weeks.

Russia believes that by taking Bakhmut, its forces will be able to take control of the entire Donbas region.

Both Russia and Ukraine might be planning additional offensives, stated the Reuters report. Oleksii Reznikov, the Ukrainian defense minister, even issued a warning that a Russian push might start on Feb. 24.

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGlobalMediaGeneralBakhmutEurasiaRussia-Ukraine WarVladimir PutinVolodymyr Zelenskyy
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