Russian Attacks In Eastern Ukraine Continue With Fate Of Bakhmut Unclear


(RFE/RL) — Russian invading forces continued to launch dozens of military strikes in eastern regions of Ukraine, with Kyiv’s military reporting its forces had repelled 60 attacks over the past day.

In a statement issued early on April 8, the Ukrainian General Staff said Russia’s military continued to target the country’s industrial east, focusing on the cities and towns of Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiyivka, and Maryinka in the Donetsk region.

“During the past 24 hours, the enemy launched two missile and 35 air strikes, carried out more than 40 attacks from rocket-launch systems,” the military said.

The Ukrainian military also said Russian occupation forces in the regions of Zaporizhzhya and Kherson are making preparations for what Kyiv described as the evacuation of civilians to Russia-occupied Crimea.

In the eastern Crimean town of Feodosia explosions were reported on April 8. A Russia-installed leader on the peninsula said it was a Ukrainian missile and that it had been shot down by Russian forces.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, facing an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court, has ordered his military to gain complete control of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhya, and Kherson, areas he claims Russia has illegally annexed. Ukraine has indicated that it will soon launch a counteroffensive to take back more territory.

The fresh attacks come amid reports that Russian invading forces have advanced in Bakhmut. On April 7, British military officials said in their latest daily report that Russian forces have likely moved into the center of the city and captured the western banks of the Bakhmutka River.

Russia’s eight-month campaign to take control of Bakhmut coupled with Ukraine’s defense of the city have led to the longest and potentially bloodiest battle of the invasion, which Putin launched on February 24, 2022.

Meanwhile, the British Defense Ministry said Russia’s attempt to “severely degrade” Ukraine’s energy infrastructure “has highly likely failed.”

“Russia has conducted long range strikes since October 2022, but large-scale attacks have become rare since early March 2023,” the ministry said in its latest daily intelligence update on April 8.

“Ukraine’s network operating companies continue to source replacement transformers and other critical components,” the British Defense Ministry said adding, “Ukraine’s energy situation will likely improve with the arrival of warmer weather.”

At a mosque on the outskirts of Kyiv on April 7, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met Ukrainian Muslim soldiers to celebrate Iftar, the evening meal marking the end of the Ramadan fast.

Zelenskiy repeated his vow to win back control of Crimea, a historic homeland of the Crimean Tatars, a Muslim ethnic minority.

He noted that Russia began its campaign against Ukraine with the 2014 annexation of Crimea and vowed: “Where the path of evil began, victory awaits us there, I am sure. Victory over this evil. The liberation of Crimea has no alternative.”

In his late video address on April 8, Zelenskiy said that Poland will provide 200 Rosomak infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, with about 100 of them set to arrive in the immediate future. 

Zelenskiy added that Kyiv also expects Warsaw to provide Ukrainian forces with MiG-29 fighter jets, along with additional weapons and missiles, in the near future.

During his April 5 visit to Warsaw, Zelenskiy hailed Poland’s role in persuading Western countries to provide battle tanks to Ukraine and suggested that a similar “planes coalition” could be formed.


RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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