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Moscow Says Russian Forces Advancing Inside Bakhmut

MOSCOW-Russia said Saturday that its forces were still pushing inside the frontline town of Bakhmut and had wrested control of an area in the eastern Ukrainian city. “In the Donetsk direction, assault detachments liberated a block in the northwestern part of the city of Artemovsk,” the defence ministry said, referring to Bakhmut by its Russian name.

The announcement came after the head of Russia’s Wagner paramilitary group, which is leading the assault for Bakhmut, claimed that regular Russian troops were fleeing the flanks of the town and exposing his forces in its centre.

The defence ministry had said earlier that it had redeployed forces north of Bakhmut, suggesting a possible pulling back of forces from the front. But the ministry said Saturday that the regular army was providing support to Wagner forces.

“The units of the airborne forces provided support to the assault detachments and pinned down the enemy on the flanks,” the ministry said in a statement. Aviation and artillery targeted Ukrainian troops near several settlements in the eastern region of Donetsk including Chasiv Yar, the statement said. Germany unveils 2.7b euro weapons package for Ukraine

Germany is preparing a new weapons package for Ukraine worth 2.7 billion euros, reportedly Berlin’s largest since its conflict started with Russia last year, the defence ministry said Saturday. “We all hope for a rapid end to this terrible war, but unfortunately this is not in sight,” Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement.

“This is why Germany will supply all the help that it can, for as long as necessary,” he said. The package, worth $3 billion, would include 30 additional Leopard-1 tanks, Marder armoured vehicles, air-defence systems and surveillance drones, the ministry said.

Der Spiegel magazine said it would be Germany’s largest since the outbreak of the war.

It comes as Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to travel to Rome on Saturday for talks with political leaders, which could be followed by a trip to Berlin.

German officials have not confirmed the visit, but Berlin police have opened an inquiry after details of a possible trip attributed to the force appeared in the media.

Source : TheNation