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As Ukraine Holds the Line in Donbas, Russians Shatter Cities in Moscow’s Path – Wall Street Journal

Article by Yaroslav Trofimov - 10.08.22 - In Bakhmut, cluster munitions injure civilians as the infrastructure is gradually destroyed.

BAKHMUT, Ukraine—After spending several hours sheltering from Russian shelling in his basement, Yuri Vyshchepanko and his wife came up to the kitchen to get some water on Tuesday, and to call their daughter to say they are safe. That’s when the house shook.

“Smoke everywhere, stink, darkness, we thought we’re on fire,” Mr. Vyshchepanko recalled an hour later as he was treated for moderate burns and cuts. He and his wife are lucky to still be alive. According to rescue workers, the Russian rocket that slammed into their home and punched through their ceiling failed to detonate.

Others aren’t as fortunate. Russian artillery shells and rockets constantly rain on Bakhmut these days, destroying bit by bit a once elegant Ukrainian town of 72,000 people that used to be famous for its sparkling wines—and now is finding itself as the primary target of Moscow’s offensive in the eastern Donbas region.

Russian forces started pushing toward Bakhmut more than a month ago, after seizing the towns of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk 30 miles northeast of here, in Moscow’s last significant gain in Donbas. Since then, Ukrainian forces have been holding the line, with heavy fighting every day east of the road connecting Bakhmut to the town of Siversk to the north.

Despite preparations for a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive in the southern Kherson region, the war’s main effort for now continues in the Donbas. Roads are clogged with Ukrainian military traffic as fresh heavy weapons, troops and ammunition pour in. The 20-mile front line from Bakhmut to Siversk is a constant sequence of plumes rising from artillery hits and the fires they cause.

“We have stopped the Russians here, and they aren’t able to advance,” said a Ukrainian artillery captain. “It’s hard, there are losses, everything around here is smashed up by artillery. They still have an advantage in firepower, but not for long because they are running out of steam,” he said. “They have more quantity, but we have better precision.”

Almost all the casualties, military and civilian, coming this week arrived with shrapnel wounds and contusions. Some needed minor patching up, others had more serious wounds. A few were dead on arrival.

Russia’s use of cluster munitions to hit residential neighborhoods has become commonplace here, Dr. Androshchuk said. These weapons, with their characteristic tac-tac-tac sound of cluster bomblets going off in a sequence, are far from precise.

The article does report that:

"After a series of explosions rocked a Russian air base in Crimea, Ukrainian President Voloydymr Zelensky said that the war would only end when the peninsula was retaken. Ukraine has stopped short of claiming responsibility for the blasts.

For the full article in pdf with many images, please click here:

As Ukraine Holds the Line in Donbas, Russian Fire Shatters Cities in Moscow’s Path – The W
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For further information on the blasts in the Crimea, please click on this link for an article in the New York Times:

Explosions Hit Russian Military Base in Crimea

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