Ukraine: Fierce battles for control of central Pakhmut

Ukrainian soldiers receive training on Leopard 2 tanks in Spain. AFP

The commander of the Ukrainian ground forces announced yesterday that "fierce battles" are taking place with Russian forces for control of the center of the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.

The commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, Oleksandr Sirsky, confirmed previous information, reported by the Russian side. The Army press office quoted Sirsky as saying that the Russians were "attacking Pakhmut from several directions. to advance towards the neighborhoods of the center."

Earlier, Sirski said the situation on the contact line in the Pakhmut region remained difficult.

"Wagner's offensive forces are advancing in several directions, trying to break through the defenses of our troops, and advancing into the central areas of the city," Cersky told Ukrainian media.

On the other hand, the Russian Defense Ministry said that its forces killed more than 220 Ukrainian soldiers, the day before yesterday, in the Donetsk region.

The head of Russia's Wagner militant group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, acknowledged that the battles in Bakhmut were getting harder.

"The closer we get to the city center, the more intense the fights," Wagner's founder said.

The day before, Prigozhin, said that the group's fighters continue to move forward despite the fact that the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is receiving more and more new precautions in battle.

The Interfax news agency reported yesterday that a legislative initiative has been put forward in the Russian parliament, raising the age of compulsory military service in Russia.

The proposal calls for gradually raising the minimum age for recruitment to the army from 18 to 21 by 2026. The proposal would also raise the maximum age immediately from 27 to 30.

Interfax added that starting next year recruitment will take place at the age of 19, and from 2025 at the age of 20. But if anyone wants to voluntarily join the army at the age of 18, they can.

On the other hand, the upper age limit will be raised to 30 years directly without any intermediate steps.