The Russian troops would be about to take the AZOM plant, the “Azovstal” of the city, where 300 Ukrainians take refuge in its subsoil.
The battle for the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, in the eastern Donetsk region, has become the longest in the Russian war in Ukraine so far and in which both sides suffer significant casualties every day, a fierce fight that is now It is centered in the northwest of the city, where the Vostokmash factory is located, in the AZOM metallurgical complex.
Wagner’s pro-Russian mercenaries continue to advance on the city with their latest movements in the southwest, west and northwest, where they attempt to storm the underground part of the metallurgical plant, the “Azovstal” of this city.
Azovstal was the gigantic metallurgical plant where Ukrainian forces and part of the civilian population of the port city of Mariupol had taken refuge from the Russian army, with shortages of medicine, water and food.
Volunteer Russian soldiers hold their positions at the front, in Bakhmut. Photo: Sergei Shestak / AFP
The Ukrainians finally surrendered, in one of the most dramatic events of this war that was one year old, on February 24. Some 21 civilians died.
Bakhmut and the AZOM plant
Now, according to the website express.co.uk, Western intelligence indicated that Ukrainian forces strengthened their defenses at AZOM to lure Wagner’s mercenaries fighting for Russia into a prolonged siege.
But Russian spokesmen indicate the opposite. Even Ukrainian soldiers admit the dramatic hours they live.
The bitter fighting in Bakhmut has been called “worse than Stalingrad” in harrowing video testimony shared by what appears to be a Ukrainian soldier.
Ukraine’s armed forces are fighting to drive Wagner’s Russian mercenaries out of Bakhmut’s northern outskirts, including the formidable metal factory Kiev forces intended to use as a fortress.
In a combat video, a Ukrainian infantryman talks about ongoing clashes with Russia’s Wagner fighters that have taken place inside the AZOM metallurgical complex as gunfire and explosions are heard in the distance.
“The plant will soon fall”
The Russian-imposed Donetsk leader, Denis Pushilin, assured on Tuesday that the factory, located in an industrial area north of Bakhmut, will soon fall into the hands of the Wagner mercenary group.
“There are premises that the factory will soon be under full control of the private military company Wagner,” Pushilin was quoted as saying by the official TASS news agency.
But he admitted that for the moment “the situation remains difficult.”
The Vostokmash factory is located on the territory of the AZOM metallurgical company, where Wagner’s fighters, according to their own statements, took “favorable positions” last weekend.
Hours earlier, the Wagner Group itself assured that it had “taken control of Vostokmash” and published on its Telegram account photographs in which mercenaries supposedly pose inside the factory.
According to the Telegram channel “Military Chronicle”, at least 300 Ukrainian soldiers currently remain in the basements of Vostokmash.
With information from EFE and express.co.uk