War in Ukraine: Kyiv said that it repulsed more than 92 assaults on Russia in a day

Russia once again brings down attacks from the air and from the ground. The Ukrainian army repelled more than 92 attacks by Russian troops in five directions in a day on Saturday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported at a morning briefing on March 12, Kyiv Independent reports. According to the report of the General Staff, Russian forces are concentrating their efforts on carrying out offensive operations on Liman, Bakhmut, Avdeevka, Marinka and Shakhtersk in the Donetsk region, which were subjected to forty-eight Russian attacks in just one day. The governor of this region, Pavel Kirilenko, said that over the past day, two civilians were killed and four more were injured.

The Ukrainian Air Force carried out six strikes on temporary Russian bases, and Ukrainian rocket and artillery forces struck four Russian temporary bases, an ammunition depot and two electronic warfare stations, he continued. The Ukrainian military warns of a continuing high threat of missile strikes on Ukrainian territory.

Moldova liquidates Russian destabilization group

Moldovan police announced on Sunday that they had arrested members of a network “organized by Moscow” to destabilize this small country of the former Soviet Union. To eliminate the group, a Moldovan agent infiltrated a group led by a Russian-Moldovan. He collected “ten hours” of compromising video and audio recordings, the head of the National Police said at a press conference. After the searches on Saturday evening, 25 men were questioned by investigators, seven of them were taken into custody. The Moldovan authorities explained that they acted after they “received information about the organization of destabilization actions on our territory by the Russian special services through demonstrations.”

This arrest took place hours before the anti-government demonstration. The party of fugitive pro-Russian oligarch Ilkhan Shor has again mobilized its troops against the pro-European government in recent weeks amid rising tensions between Moscow and Chisinau. He organized several rallies for which he is suspected of paying the participants. This Sunday afternoon, a new demonstration is taking place in Chisinau. On Friday, the White House accused Russia of seeking to destabilize the Romanian-speaking country of 2.6 million neighboring Ukraine in order to install a government committed to its cause.

Soon a counteroffensive in Bakhmut?

Ukrainian troops in march formation. On Sunday, March 12, the Kiev army continued the defense of Bakhmut, in order to “buy time” before launching a counteroffensive against the advance of Russian troops on this city in eastern Ukraine, including Moscow, which has been trying to capture since the summer, at the cost of heavy losses. The Russians tried for several weeks to encircle this city of about 70,000 people before the conflict and managed to cut off several important supply routes for Ukrainian soldiers. Faced with constant attacks from Moscow, the goal is to strike back as soon as possible.

“The real heroes are the defenders who hold the Eastern Front on their shoulders,” said Oleksandr Syrsky, Commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces. “We have to buy time to build up reserves and go on a counteroffensive, which is not far off,” he said, quoted by the press service of the army on Saturday. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said Ukrainian forces had “repulsed more than 100 enemy attacks” in key combat areas the day before. As Russia slowly moves towards capturing the ruined city, more and more attacks are being recorded on nearby settlements such as Konstantinovka and Chasov Yar.

“At the beginning of the war, we didn’t have drones. The tasks were more difficult and less effective. But in the summer, drones and other equipment began to arrive. Today we are more effective,” Piotr, pilot of one of the three MI-8 attack helicopters that have just completed raid on a target near Bakhmut, according to AFP. The UK Ministry of Defense said that “over the past four days” the Russian paramilitary group Wagner “has taken control of most of the eastern” Bakhmut. “Ukrainian forces control the western part of the city and have destroyed key bridges across the river” that crosses it, the ministry said.

Ukraine was bombed more than 40,500 times in a year

Russia has bombed Ukraine more than 40,500 times since its invasion in February 2022, according to Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klymenko. Shelling has destroyed more than 152,000 residential buildings since the beginning of the war, according to Euromaidan, citing Klymenko. According to the Kyiv Independent, Russian missiles hit “critical infrastructure” in Zaporozhye. The strikes carried out on Saturday were most likely carried out by S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, the military department of the Zaporozhye region reported.

Ammunition, training… Foreign Minister puts pressure on Germany

In an interview published on Sunday, Ukraine’s foreign minister urged Germany to expedite the supply of ammunition and start training Ukrainian pilots in Western fighter jets. Dmytro Kuleba told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that the lack of ammunition was “problem number one” in Ukraine’s bid to repel the Russian invasion. He said German arms makers told him at the Munich Security Conference last month that they were ready to deliver but were waiting for the government to sign contracts.

“So the problem is with the government,” Kuleba reportedly said. The latter made it clear that he does not expect the Western allies to provide Ukraine with the required fighters in the near future. But he said Ukrainian pilots would still have to be trained to be ready once that decision was made. According to him, if Germany trained Ukrainian pilots, it would be “a clear signal of its political commitment.”

Russian losses are most among national minorities

Russian combat losses vary widely across Russia’s regions, according to the latest intelligence report from the UK Department of Defense. In relation to population, the richest cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg are relatively poor. This is especially true for the elite families of the country. On February 21, 2023, high-ranking Russian officials were photographed standing in the front two rows of the audience as President Putin addressed the nation. It is known that none of them have children serving in the army.

In many eastern regions, the mortality rate as a percentage of the population is almost 30 times higher than in Moscow. In some places, ethnic minorities suffer the most; in Astrakhan, about 75% of the victims are representatives of the Kazakh and Tatar minorities. As the Russian Defense Ministry seeks to fill a persistent shortage of combat personnel, isolating the wealthiest and most powerful elements of Russian society is likely to remain a top priority.

Switzerland condemns war madness

President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset on Sunday spoke out against the transfer of weapons to Ukraine in an interview with the NZZ am Sontag TV channel. “I feel this militant madness in certain circles,” he said. And it worries me a lot, because this feeling is based on a short-term vision. Committed to the neutrality of his country, the socialist president reaffirmed that “Swiss weapons should not be used in wars”, stressing that the position of the Federal Council on this issue is very clear.

The neutrality debate has stirred up Switzerland since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. “I understand and respect the fact that other countries have a different position,” says the president of the Confederation. “But the position of Switzerland must also be respected.” The non-EU Alpine country nevertheless accepted all the sanctions imposed by Brussels on Moscow, believing that these sanctions are compatible with its neutrality. On the other hand, its government remains adamant about the country’s historical neutrality regarding weapons.

Russia suspects WWF of interference

Russia has included the World Wildlife Fund (World Wildlife Fund, better known under the abbreviation WWF) in the list of foreign agents. According to the Russian Ministry of Justice, the Washington-based environmental group “under the guise of protecting nature and the environment tried to influence the decisions of the executive and legislative authorities” and “obstructed the implementation of industrial and infrastructure projects,” according to the Associated Press.

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