By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BAKHMUT/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Soldier by soldier, trench by trench, street by street, Russian and Ukrainian forces enter their final bloody battle for Bakhmut, the symbolically important eastern Ukrainian city, in an otherwise devastating war. Ukrainian and Russian soldiers suffer massive casualties.
Footage shows a grenade explosion rocking a makeshift Ukrainian bunker, injuring at least one soldier. But he and other Ukrainian forces are seen recovering quickly from the blast at the opening of their dugout.
After assessing injuries, they desperately try to fight back Russian forces jumping into their trenches near Bakhmut.
With little cover, they emerge, taking positions around this bunker and gunning down soldiers as they crawl away in this bloody conflict. The battle is over the last remaining road to Bakhmut.
The situation isn’t much better inside the Bakhmut, once a thriving wine-making and salt-mining city with a prewar population of roughly 70,000 people.
The end of winter marks a decisive turn in the war for men whose lives have barely begun. There are concerns that many of them will die here. Footage released by Ukraine’s military appears to show troops inside Bakhmut, which has been largely turned into ruins.
A soldier is seen firing a gun inside toward Russians in this heavily damaged city. But it’s getting increasingly difficult.
Russia’s defense ministry has claimed it has captured another three districts in the western part of this heavily contested city in the Donetsk region. It is thought that the troops that have continued into Bakhmut are part of the Wagner group of mercenaries.
Elsewhere, a guided bomb hit the village of Orlykivka in the northeastern Chernihiv municipality in the early hours of Saturday.
No casualties were reported, but Ukraine’s operational command confirmed that the bomb was dropped Saturday from a Russian SU-35 jet.
A day earlier, Moscow reluctantly admitted that a Russian supersonic warplane accidentally bombed the Russian city of Belgorod near Ukraine’s border injuring three people.
As troops fight here, diplomats are involved in a diplomatic battle with Russia, saying it will expel German diplomats in retaliation for its own being sent home from Berlin. Some 40 diplomats have been removed this month on both sides.
Moscow is also furious that Germany continues its support for Ukraine, including the supply of tanks and establishing a “repair hub” in Germany.
But the diplomatic wrangling has done little to ease the pain in Bakhmut, with no lasting ceasefire expected soon.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, hundreds of thousands of troops and civilians are believed to have been killed or injured, and millions have been displaced.
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