In Bakhmut and Kherson, Ukrainian forces advance against Russian fighters

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Ukrainian forces continued their advance against Russian troops in the southern Kherson region on Tuesday, pushing back Russian mercenaries from Bakhmut in eastern Donetsk and gaining new momentum in Luhansk, where they seized a key highway between the cities of Kremina and Svatov.

On a day of heavy fighting and rapid movement in various combat zones, the Ukrainians appeared to extend their recent success in recapturing occupied territories and pushing Moscow’s troops back in areas that President Vladimir Putin claims are now Russian.

Far from the battlefield, the Kremlin has continued to push the claim, repeatedly asserted without evidence, that Kyiv is preparing to use a “dirty bomb,” a weapon that combines conventional explosives with radioactive material. This accusation was rejected by the US and other Western countries.

US officials have said Moscow’s accusations raise the risk that Russia itself is planning a radiation attack, perhaps as a pretext for further escalation of the war over ongoing territorial setbacks.

In a statement on Tuesday, Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom issued a similar warning, pointing out that the Russian military controls the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant at Enerhodar. “Energoatom assumes that such actions by the occupiers may indicate that they are planning a terrorist attack using nuclear materials and radioactive waste stored at the UAE site,” the statement said.

Renewed fears of some kind of radiation attack have added to the ominous sense that Putin’s war in Ukraine is getting more and more dangerous as each country seeks to redraw the facts ahead of winter.

Ukraine has struggled to make further territorial gains, and Russia this month launched a relentless bombing campaign against Ukraine’s energy system, using missiles and attack drones, in an apparent bid to plunge the country into cold and darkness and potentially recoup battlefield losses.

Russia’s failed invasion of Ukraine raised its nuclear threat, echoing Cold War events such as the little-known 1983 nuclear crisis. (Video by Joshua Carroll/The Washington Post)

As Ukraine continues to grow, pro-Kremlin military bloggers and analysts on Tuesday confirmed new setbacks for Russian forces, including in Luhansk, the easternmost occupied region of Ukraine where Russia maintains its tightest grip.

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“The Ukrainian army has resumed its counteroffensive in the direction of Luhansk,” the pro-Russian WarGonzo project’s daily military bulletin said, adding that Ukrainian forces had taken control of the main highway between the Luhansk cities of Svatovo and Kremina.

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“Russian artillery is actively working on the left bank of the Zerebet River and is trying to stop the transfer of reinforcements to the enemy, but the situation is very difficult,” WarGonzo said.

In the Donetsk region, Wagner’s paramilitary forces, under the control of St. Petersburg businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, were being pushed back from Bakhmut, where mercenaries had been rampaging the city for weeks, making little progress. Military experts said the capture of Bakhmut was of little strategic value, but Prigozhin appeared to see an opportunity to claim a political prize while Russia’s regular military units were losing ground in other combat zones.

Ukrainian forces have recaptured a concrete factory on the eastern outskirts of Bakhmut, the Washington-based Institute for Military Studies said on Monday. On Sunday, Prigozhin acknowledged the slow pace of Wagner’s efforts, saying the mercenaries were gaining only “100 to 200 meters a day.”

“Our units are constantly facing the fiercest resistance of the enemy, so I notice that the enemy is well prepared, motivated, working confidently and harmoniously,” Prigozhin said in a statement issued by the press service of his catering company. “It doesn’t stop our fighters from moving forward, but I can’t comment on how long it will take.”

In the southern Kherson region, one of the four annexed by Moscow, Russian forces appear to be preparing to defend the city of Kherson amid speculation that they will withdraw to the eastern side of the Dnieper River, giving up a key location.

October 24 residents displaced from Russian-occupied Kherson (Ukraine) arrived by bus to Dzhankoy, Crimea. (Video: Reuters, Photo: Reuters/Reuters)

The Ukrainian military said in an operational briefing on Tuesday that Russian troops were setting up “defensive positions” along the eastern bank of the Dnieper and leaving small passages for a possible withdrawal from the western bank.

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Speculation over whether Moscow is preparing to abandon Kherson has been rife for weeks after Ukrainian forces made sustained breakthroughs in the south.

“I do not know all the nuances and plans of the command, but I do not rule out the transfer of Kherson, because from a military point of view, its defense can turn into a failure at the moment,” said a popular Russian military blogger. who writes under the name Zapiski Veterana, wrote in a Telegram post. “But I think that if a decision was made in Moscow to fight until victory, then there is nothing tragic about the surrender of Kherson, because this war has been going on here for a long time.

Moscow may have no choice. “However, Russia’s position in the upper Kherson region is likely unconfirmed,” the Institute for Military Studies said.

Officials stationed in the Kremlin are forcing residents to evacuate the west bank of the Dnieper, claiming without evidence that Kyiv is planning attacks on the Kachovka hydroelectric plant, as well as “dirty bomb” allegations.

The mercenary commander referred to V. Putin regarding the conflict of the war in Ukraine

The United States, France and Britain have accused Moscow of using the dirty bomb allegations as a pretext for escalation and warned of further punitive measures against Putin’s government in the West.

On Tuesday, the Kremlin called Washington’s distrust of Russia’s claims an “impermissible and frivolous attitude.”

After a two-week bombing campaign in which Moscow systematically targeted energy infrastructure, Kyiv is increasingly concerned about civilians surviving the harsh winter. Ukrainian officials have been pressing European officials for the past few weeks for more sophisticated weapons, particularly advanced air defense systems, needed to counter Russian attacks.

The country is also facing an urgent cash crunch, and officials are raising questions about how Ukraine will secure funding to keep services running in the brutal weeks and months ahead. At the beginning of October, the World Bank predicted that the economy of Ukraine would shrink by 35 percent this year.

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On Tuesday, Germany and the European Union held a conference on reconstruction in Berlin, although the talk seemed particularly premature given the Russian attacks that are bringing new destruction every day.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that Ukraine needs about 38 billion dollars next year alone. USD of emergency economic aid. But while top officials keep trumpeting EU support for Ukraine, there are questions about short-term and long-term action.

Although European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, for example, has talked about plans to help Ukraine until 2023, EU officials admit there are delays in delivering the roughly $9 billion promised to Kiev earlier this year. USD loans.

US Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen has pressed her European counterparts to increase financial aid to Kiev in recent weeks, implicitly questioning the decision to offer loans instead of grants.

“We call on our partners and allies to join us in quickly meeting our existing commitments to Ukraine and stepping up our efforts,” Yellen said this month. In a video at last week’s European Council meeting in Brussels, Zelensky called out European leaders for failing to provide much-needed economic aid quickly enough.

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“Thank you for the funds that have already been allocated,” Zelenskiy said. “However, a decision has not yet been made regarding the remaining 6 billion.

“It is in your power,” he continued, “to reach an agreement in principle today on the provision of this aid to our country.”

With existing needs unmet, some wonder how seriously the EU’s promises of Marshall Plan efforts should be taken. A Q&A published by Germany’s Group of Seven, which chairs the conference on Tuesday, noted that there would be no “commitment segment” at the event. Instead, the goal is to “underline that the international community is united and strongly supports Ukraine.”

Some EU diplomats have questioned in private conversations whether the bloc should devote resources to rebuilding the country, which is still deeply at war, especially given Europe’s own energy and economic crises.

As von der Leyen spoke in Berlin on Tuesday, the focus in Brussels was on efforts to find a common language among the EU member states themselves on emergency energy measures.


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