Russia’s ongoing assault on Bakhmut in eastern Donetsk escalates, prompting Ukraine to reconsider its counter-offensive plans following a leaked report on US documents.
After a Russian missile struck a residential neighbourhood in Ukraine, a police officer examines the wreckage. (Image source – Reuters)
On Monday, Russia’s attack on Ukraine’s Donetsk region intensified, with reports of air strikes targeting the besieged city of Bakhmut and other nearby cities.
CNN said that Ukraine had to change parts of its military preparations for the anticipated counteroffensive as a result of the disclosure of secret US papers.
ATTACK ON EASTERN FRONT
In the eastern Donetsk region, Bakhmut has been the main battleground for months, and the Moscow-controlled part of Donetsk, led by Denis Pushilin, claimed that Russian forces now held 75 percent of the city.
Ukraine’s ground forces commander, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, stated that Russia was employing “scorched earth tactics from Syria” in Bakhmut, using air strikes and artillery fire to destroy buildings and positions.
In addition to Bakhmut, Russia is also targeting the city of Avdiivka, which Donetsk’s regional governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, described as being turned into a “total ruin” by Russian forces. A recent air strike destroyed a multi-storey building.
Kyrylenko estimated that around 1,800 people are currently remaining in Avdiivka. The nearby town of Chasiv Yar, located to the west of Bakhmut, has also faced heavy shelling from Russian artillery, with locals becoming desensitized to the sound of explosions.
LEAK CAUSING PROBLEMS FOR UKRAINE
CNN claimed that amid the fierce fighting, Ukraine was compelled to alter parts of its military preparations before launching its much anticipated counteroffensive as a result of the disclosure of numerous top-secret papers. The documents making the rounds on social media cover a wide range of topics, including US assistance with Ukraine’s air defences and Israel’s Mossad intelligence organisation.
The source of the leak is being sought out by US authorities, who are also investigating their internal secret-sharing practises.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential advisor for Ukraine, told Reuters that while precise methods were always susceptible to change, Kyiv’s overarching intentions remained unaltered. The National Security and Defense Council’s secretary, Oleksiy Danilov, was also contacted by the news organisation. He stated that access to material is “extremely restricted.”
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, declined to comment on the leak but noted that “Russia is frequently blamed for everything.” It is an illness in general.