The fighting in eastern Ukraine turned into trench warfare as the Russians searched for a breakthrough

The town of Bakhmut has been largely abandoned as incessant shelling reduced buildings to rubble

The fighting around the main town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine has turned into a bloody quagmire with hundreds of dead and wounded reported daily, as neither Russian nor Ukrainian forces have been able to make any significant breakthroughs after months of fighting.

As Russia has moved new formations to the region in recent weeks, including earlier reinforcements in the Kherson region, the fighting in the Bakhmut sector has devolved into trench warfare reminiscent of the first world war.

Over the weekend, images emerged of Ukrainian soldiers in floods, muddy trenches, and battlefields dotted with tree stumps cut down by shriveled artillery barrages.

Heavy fighting continued Monday around Soledar, with mercenaries from Russia's private Wagner military company – which includes pardoned convicts – on the front lines.

Ukraine's presidential office said on Monday that at least four civilians were killed and 11 others injured in Russia's latest attack. It said heavy fighting was continuing along the front line in the east, with the Russians shelling Bakhmut and Toretsk in the center of the fighting.

"People took shelter in basements, many of which were filled with water," said the governor of Donetsk, Pavlo Kyrylenko. "They have been living in catastrophic conditions with no electricity or heating."

The focus of much of the recent fighting, however, has been the now-ruined town of Bakhmut, largely abandoned by its 70,000 inhabitants, with both sides sending reinforcements for a battle that has continued relentlessly since the summer as Moscow has been trying to secure. victory after a series of setbacks and battlefield setbacks.

Yet, with little clear strategic value, and a string of well-defended towns outside the Bakhmut sector, the Wagner-led effort seems to have been more Wagner prestige in Kremlin inner circles than any combined military thinking.

While Russia had used the same tactics as it had to conquer the nearby towns of Sievierodonetsk and Lychansk – with the heavy artillery barrages incessantly weakening the Ukrainian defenders – the Ukrainian troops seemed determined to hold their lines and inflict heavy casualties on the Russian attackers.

Recent videos from the town, posted on social media, show destroyed buildings, some reduced to rubble.

The fighting around Bakhmut continued as Ukraine warned civilians to prepare for more Russian strikes on Monday, with the possibility of a new round of evacuations from the capital during the relative lull in air strikes on energy facilities and other critical infrastructure in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, the west has stepped up preparations to increase humanitarian aid to Ukraine, so that residents can enjoy warmth during their coldest months and keep the nation's resolve as high as possible.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned that Russian troops "are preparing for a new offensive and as long as they have missiles, they will not stop".

"The coming week can be just as difficult as the past," he said.

In the capital, Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said that some of the city's 3 million residents may have to evacuate to places where essential services are less vulnerable to shutdowns caused by missile strikes.

Russia has pounded energy facilities around Kyiv with barrages of missile attacks, resulting in power outages and water supplies to the city being cut off.

And with temperatures hovering around freezing, expected to drop to -11C in less than a week, international aid is increasingly focused on items such as generators and autotransformers, ensuring power outages affecting everything from kitchens to operating rooms to limited. and as short as possible.

Russian President Vladimir Putin "continues to try to turn Ukraine into a black hole - no light, no electricity, no heat to put Ukrainians in darkness and cold", said European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell. "So we have to continue our support by providing Ukrainians with more materials to face the winter without electricity."

Borrell chaired a meeting of European Union ministers that will specifically "look at the Ukraine war from the perspective of the humanitarian crisis".

Over the next three days, top NATO officials and foreign ministers will gather in Bucharest, Romania, where the humanitarian aspects will also be assessed.

Ukrainian energy provider Ukrenergo said on Monday it was still under 27% producing after Russia attacked energy infrastructure. "The scale and complexity of the damage is high, and repair work is continuing around the clock," the company said in a statement.

Power supplies have been restored to 17% of residents in the southern city of Kherson, which was reclaimed by Ukraine earlier this month. The Russians continued to pound the city with artillery attacks.

The latest skirmish continued when it became known that the Pentagon was considering a proposal from Boeing to supply Ukraine with cheap, small-precision rocket-mounted bombs that were readily available, allowing Kyiv to strike deep behind Russian lines as the west struggled to meet demand for more weapons. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

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