Moscow/Leopolis (Ukraine) (EFE).- Russian troops continued their attacks on Saturday in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine with little progress due to fierce resistance from Ukrainian forces, who are trying to counter-attack in certain sectors of the front.
“The enemy tried to launch counterattacks near the towns of Sladkoe, Shevchenko and Novomaiorke of the Donetsk People’s Republic, south of the city of Donetsk,” the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said. General Igor Konashenkov.
In his usual daily report, the military pointed out that the Ukrainian attacks were repelled by artillery fire and attack aircraft.
In this sector alone, Konashenkov added, Ukrainian forces suffered more than 40 casualties between dead and wounded.
Bakhmut, in the crosshairs of the Russian army
According to British Military Intelligence (DI), Russian troops are focusing their efforts on capturing Bakhmut, an important communications hub north of Donestk, which would allow them to advance towards Kramatorsk and Slovianks, the main strongholds of the Ukrainian army. in the Donetsk region.
“However, the campaign has been disproportionate to the possible gains,” the DI said in a tweet today, in which it highlighted the possibility that capturing Bakhmut was a “political and symbolic objective” for Russia.
In any case, in the opinion of British analysts, the logistical problems and the shortage of supplies are a brake on the offensive plans of the Russian army.
Russia is trying to strengthen its military alliance with Belarus
With the situation relatively stabilized on the battlefronts, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met today in Minsk with his Belarusian counterpart Viktor Khrenin, with whom he signed a protocol of amendments to the bilateral agreement guaranteeing security regional military signed in December 1997.
“Belarus has been and is a reliable partner. This is extremely important today, when the collective West is exerting unprecedented pressure and waging an undeclared war against our country,” Shoigu told the meeting, quoted by the Interfax agency.
Neither Moscow nor Minsk reported on the scope of the protocol, while Kyiv declared its readiness to respond adequately to the increase in Russian troops in Belarus, from the territory of which they broke into Ukraine in the beginning of the military campaign launched by the Kremlin more than nine months ago.
“The situation in the northern operational zone (the border with Belarus) is under control,” the commander of the Ukrainian Joint Forces, Lieutenant General Serhiy Náyev, said today.
The Ukrainian army has indicated that although the joint Russian-Belarusian military grouping continues to strengthen on the territory of the neighboring country, it “does not yet pose a threat”.
The government in Kyiv, which has accused the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of being complicit in Russian aggression, has repeatedly warned that if Belarusian soldiers enter the country, the Ukrainian army will use all its power against them. of fire.
Russians support military campaign but want negotiations
While support for the war campaign in Ukraine remains high among Russians – one way or another 75% of participants in a survey published this Saturday by the Levada Center support it – those who advocate peace negotiations have significantly increased.
According to the Levada Center survey, 52% of those questioned last November -44% in August- were in favor of the opening of peace negotiations with Ukraine, with the particularity that more than half of between them indicated that they had to start as soon as possible. .
Among Russians aged 18 to 24 who took part in the poll, 68% were in favor of opening peace talks with Ukraine.
On the other hand, those over 55 are more in favor of continuing military action than of negotiating peace. 48% of respondents in this age bracket are in favor of the first option and 44% the second.