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Saturday May 25, 2024

Ukraine says strengthening defences in battered frontline town

The energy ministry said Russia shelled energy infrastructure in the Kharkiv region, causing power outages and problems with gas supply

By Reuters
April 15, 2024
Members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces attend tactical, combat and first aid training course during Russias military invasion launched on Ukraine. — AFP/File
Members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces attend tactical, combat and first aid training course during Russia's military invasion launched on Ukraine. — AFP/File 

KYIV: Ukrainian troops defending the frontline town of Chasiv Yar under relentless Russian attack have received additional drones and weaponry, the commander-in-chief of Kyiv’s armed forces, Oleksandr Syrsky, said on Sunday.

Syrsky wrote on Facebook after visiting troops defending the battered town that “measures were taken to significantly strengthen the brigades with ammunition, drones, and electronic warfare equipment”.

Russia is “concentrating its efforts to break through our defences west of Bakhmut,” Syrsky said, referring to the destroyed town in the Donetsk region captured by Russia last May.

He said Russia aims to “seize the town of Chasiv Yar”, which lies 20-kms west of Bakhmut.

Chasiv Yar has been heavily destroyed by shelling and Ukraine has said it is now under “constant fire”.

Syrksky said Russia’s military leadership has set a deadline to capture Chasiv Yar by May 9, when Russia marks Soviet victory in World War II.

Russia then wants to “create conditions for further advancement” to the large city of Kramatorsk and the surrounding area, Syrsky warned.

Overnight, Russia shelled the eastern Kharkiv region, killing two people in a village near the border.

The energy ministry said Russia shelled energy infrastructure in the Kharkiv region, causing power outages and problems with gas supply.

Meanwhile, a Russia-installed official in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region said on Sunday that the death toll from shelling by Ukraine’s military on the town of Tokmak had risen to 16 people.

Yevgeny Balitsky, the top Moscow-installed official in the region, said on the Telegram messaging app that 20 people had been wounded in the shelling on Friday night, with 12 in serious condition.

Reuters could not independently verify the account of events. There has been no comment from Ukraine on the alleged attacks.

Zaporizhzhia is one of four Ukrainian regions that have been partially occupied by Russian forces and which Moscow moved to annex after launching its full-scale invasion on Ukraine in February 2022.