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Russia claims partial victory in Chasiv Yar amidst fierce Ukrainian resistance

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The conflict in Ukraine saw a dramatic turn on Wednesday as Russia’s Defence Ministry announced that its troops had secured a district within the strategically critical town of Chasiv Yar. This development comes amidst harrowing reports of intense fighting from Ukrainian forces, who are valiantly striving to hold their ground.

Chasiv Yar, perched on high terrain 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of Bakhmut, a town devastated by relentless combat over the past year, is viewed by both sides as a pivotal location. Control of this town could provide Russia a crucial staging point to advance westward through the Donetsk region, potentially targeting the key cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

In an official statement, the Russian Defence Ministry declared, “Units of the South group of troops, as a result of dynamic actions, have taken full control of the ‘Novyi’ district of the settlement of Chasiv Yar … and improved their positions in forward sectors.” The Novyi district, located to the west of the Siverskyi Donets-Donbas canal, marks a significant tactical gain for Russian forces.

However, the Ukrainian defense remains unyielding. Ivan Petrechak, the press officer for Ukraine’s 24th brigade stationed in Chasiv Yar, conveyed the dire circumstances in an interview with Suspilne public television. “The situation is critically difficult,” Petrechak stated, highlighting the relentless shelling and attacks by Russian forces. “We see no letup in the amount of shelling. The enemy is using artillery, multiple rocket systems. The situation remains tense. But the 24th brigade is holding its positions.”

Petrechak further elaborated on the tactics employed by Russian troops, describing their strategy of infiltrating forested areas before dispersing to launch small group attacks on Ukrainian positions, all under the cover of heavy shelling and attack drones.

Adding to the grim picture, the well-regarded Ukrainian war blog DeepState reported earlier in the day that the Novyi district had been “completely erased” by Russian forces. This follows last week’s claims by a Ukrainian military official that Russian troops had been expelled from a canal-side area.

The broader context of the conflict reveals a pattern of gradual Russian advances across eastern Ukraine since capturing the key city of Avdiivka in February. Despite these advances, Ukrainian forces are bolstered by new Western military aid. This week, the United States announced a $2.3 billion military aid package for Ukraine, including artillery rounds, interceptor missiles, and anti-tank weapons.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy expressed gratitude for the aid on social media platform X, noting that the package includes funds for Patriot and NASAMS missile systems. “These will strengthen our soldiers and boost our battlefield capacities,” Zelenskiy wrote, signaling a continued robust defense against the Russian offensive.

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