Ukrainian forces are resisting repeated Russian attacks on two cities in the country’s east, while those on the southern front are poised to fight for the strategic Kherson region, which Russia appears to be reinforcing.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on Wednesday night that there will be good news from the front lines, but gave no details.
He did not mention what is happening in Kherson, in southern Ukraine, which officials and military analysts have predicted will be one of the biggest battles in the war since Russia invaded Ukraine eight months ago.
The biggest fighting in eastern Ukraine is taking place near Avdiivka, outside Donetsk, and in Bakhmut, Zelensky said.
“This is where the madness of the Russian command is most evident. Day after day, for months, they are driving people to their deaths there, concentrating the highest level of artillery strikes,” he said.
The Russian military has repeatedly tried to seize Bakhmut, which is located on a main road leading to the Ukrainian cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.
The impending battle for the city of Kherson, at the mouth of the Dnieper River, will determine whether Ukraine can reduce Russia’s hold on the country’s south.
The Russian-installed Kherson regional authority said it has withdrawn to the left bank of the Dnieper, Russian news agency RIA reported, as forces braced for increased fighting.
Although most of the front line remains off-limits to journalists, in a section north of the Russian-occupied area on the west bank of the Dnieper, Ukrainian soldiers said Russian shelling is increasing again after declining. in the last weeks.
Radio intercepts indicate that newly mobilized recruits have been sent to the front lines and that Russian forces are firmly entrenched.
Ukrainian forces advanced along the Dnieper in a spectacular offensive in the south earlier this month, but progress appears to have slowed. Russia has evacuated civilians from the West Bank but says it has no plans to withdraw its troops.
Oleksii Reznikov, the Ukrainian defense minister, said wet weather and rough terrain are making kyiv’s counteroffensive in Kherson more difficult than in the northeast, where it pushed Russia back in September.
Australia said it will send 30 more armored vehicles and deploy 70 troops to Britain to help train Ukrainian troops in the country to bolster the kyiv campaign.
Since Russia began losing ground to a Ukrainian counteroffensive in September, Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken a series of steps to escalate the conflict, calling up hundreds of thousands of Russian reservists, proclaiming the annexation of occupied lands and repeatedly threatening to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia.
This month, Russia launched a new campaign of Iranian-made missile and drone strikes against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, also targeting parks and homes across the country.
The Russian military continued to “terrorize” the kyiv region, launching several attacks on Wednesday night, Governor Oleksiy Kuleba said on the Telegram messaging app.
“The extinguishment of the fire and the consequences of the attack are ongoing,” he said, adding that there were no casualties.
In Russia, the military staged a large-scale nuclear test, with state television broadcasts dominated by images of submarines, strategic bombers and missile batteries practicing launches in retaliation for an atomic attack.
Moscow has carried out a diplomatic campaign this week to promote the accusation that kyiv is preparing to release nuclear material with a so-called “dirty bomb”, an accusation that the West calls unfounded and a possible pretext for an escalation by the Kremlin. .
Despite rising tensions, United Nations humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said he was “relatively optimistic” that the UN-brokered deal allowing Ukraine’s grain exports to the Black Sea to resume will last beyond mid-November.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.