Kiev insists on defending Bakhmut – DW – 03/15/2023

Ukraine’s top military leaders are determined to confront Russian attack In Bakhmut, President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

He discussed Bakhmut with the military leadership, who told him that they had agreed to defend the eastern sector, which included Bakhmut.

“There was a clear position of the entire General Staff: to strengthen this sector and inflict as much damage as possible on the occupier,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address.

Bakhmut has been the scene of months of fierce fighting as Russia attempts to control the region in Ukraine’s Donetsk Province.

Although it would provide a springboard for Russia to advance into Donetsk’s two larger cities, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, many analysts have repeatedly said it has little strategic value.

“I think it has more symbolic value than strategic and operational value,” US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin he said earlier this month.

However, Valeriy Zalogny, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, does not agree with this view.

During the meeting with Zelensky, he said, “The defensive operation in (Bakhmut) is of utmost strategic importance to deter the enemy. It is essential to the stability of the entire front line defense.”

Ukrainian and Russian losses mount in the Battle of Bakhmut

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Here are some other notable developments related to the war on Wednesday 15 March:

Reports on the use of white phosphorus in eastern Ukraine

Journalists working for Agence France-Presse said they saw white phosphorous munitions fired from Russian positions in an uninhabited area near Chasev Yar in eastern Ukraine.

They said the shells caused explosions that released flaming balls of white phosphorous and set plants on fire.

Journalists could not say for sure what was being targeted, but said a green truck with a white cross, the symbol of the Ukrainian army, was parked nearby.

There were also civilian homes hundreds of meters away.

Phosphorus weapons are prohibited from being used against civilians, but they can be deployed against military targets under the 1980 agreement signed in Geneva.

Ukraine has blamed Russia for using these weapons on several occasions. But the Russian military categorically denied this.

DW’s Bill Browder tells the world to “cut the money” off Russia

British investor and prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, Bill Browder, told DW that more needs to be done to prevent Russia’s access to funds to fund its war.

“We need to completely and absolutely stop the flow of money into Russia, and that means stop buying oil and gas,” Browder said.

Browder said an embargo should be imposed on Russia and measures taken against non-cooperative countries.

“We have to say that if you do business with Russia, we won’t do business with you.”

Browder said countries like Turkey, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia, which were not “superpower economies,” needed to follow the line.

“Russia should be losing and be seen as losing,” Browder told DW.

“If that happens, then we have a situation where we can move to a peaceful future in Europe.”

Browder: Putin “starved” of money to fight the war

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Russia expert says Putin has successfully used the war in Ukraine to ‘solidify his power’

Angela Stent, Russia expert and award-winning author of a book on President Vladimir PutinHe told DW that the Russian leader used the war to “consolidate his power.”

Although a million people left Russia, the majority who remained likely “either support the war or are indifferent to it.”

“So far he has succeeded in convincing them that, it seems, the West is in fact trying to dismember Russia and this is a struggle for their existence,” Stent said.

On whether Putin’s game plan is waiting to tire the West, Stent said, “He’s playing the long game.”

“His past experience told him that the West doesn’t hold together forever, that democracies are fragmenting. They have elections. They have to turn to other things.”

More DW coverage of the war in Ukraine

The United States said one of the military surveillance operations Drones crashed in the Black Sea After being intercepted by Russian warplanes. The Pentagon said one of the Russian Su-27s struck the drone’s propeller, rendering it inoperable. Russia considers the drone incident a provocation.

Berlin was working, said Eva Hügel, Commissioner for the German Armed Forces Very slowly to build up its armed forces . Hogel, whose role is to ensure parliamentary control of the armed forces, was presenting her report in the light of “turning point” It was announced last year by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The commissioner called for additional funding to be allocated to the armed forces, beyond the 100 billion euros ($107 billion) already made available as part of a one-off fund.

lo/rt (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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