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Ukraine war latest: Russia intensifies assaults near Bakhmut

by The Kyiv Independent news desk November 13, 2023 12:08 AM 5 min read
A Ukrainian drone pilot hides in a dugout as the special unit “Achilles” is preparing a night combat mission on the heavy drone “Vampire” on the front line near the Russian-occupied city of Bakhmut on Nov. 12, 2023. (Vlada Liberova/Libkos via Getty Images)
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Key developments on Nov. 12:

  • Commander: Russia intensifies assaults near Bakhmut
  • Ukraine's military intelligence: At least 3 Russian officers killed at military headquarters in occupied Melitopol
  • Military: Russia escalates airstrikes in southeastern axes
  • Local authorities: Russian shelling kills 1, injures 1 in Kherson

Russian forces have intensified their assaults near occupied Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast as they attempt to take control of nearby positions, Ground Forces Commander Oleksandr Syrskyi reported on Nov. 12.

Ukrainian forces are repelling Russian assaults in the area, the colonel general said in a Telegram post.

In a separate post, Syrskyi reported visiting troops fighting in the Bakhmut and Lyman directions, examining options for “further actions and methods to enhance the effectiveness of the combat deployment of our troops.”

Meanwhile, the weather could affect the warfare on the ground, hindering movements of military hardware, Volodymyr Fitio, a Ground Forces spokesperson, told national television on Nov. 12.

"If it starts raining now, the use of both aviation and combat drones will decrease. Consequently, it will be more challenging for hardware to move. However, artillery will continue to be used as before," he said, as quoted by the ZN.UA news outlet.

Fitio also said that disrupting Russian supply lines and eliminating advanced positions are among the most crucial tasks for the Ukrainian military.

As Bakhmut counteroffensive lags, soldiers burnt out from horrors of war
Editor’s note: Some soldiers interviewed for this story declined to give their last names due to security issues amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. DONETSK OBLAST – More than a month after his first assault operation near Bakhmut, 23-year-old soldier Oleksandr Mikulak still blames himself for not sav…

Ukraine's military intelligence: Blast kills at least 3 Russian officers in occupied Melitopol

A powerful explosion at one of the headquarters of the Russian military in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol killed at least three Russian officers, Ukraine's military intelligence, known under its Ukrainian acronym HUR, reported on Nov. 12.

Military intelligence said that the blast was a "revenge action" carried out by "representatives of the local resistance movement" on Nov. 11. The alleged headquarters was at a former office of Nova Poshta, a private Ukrainian postal service.

HUR said it is finding out whether there were more casualties, besides the three Russian National Guard officers.

The attack reportedly occurred during a meeting between the members of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Russian National Guard, according to HUR.

The Russian Defense Ministry, security service FSB, and the Russian National Guard haven't publicly reacted to the reported attack thus far.

Ukraine's report of the blast comes as Ukrainian forces continue a counteroffensive in the southern Zaporizhzhia Oblast and on two axes of the eastern Donetsk Oblast. While the progress of the costly operation launched in June has been slow, Ukraine has actively struck military targets deep into Russian-occupied territories.

The exiled mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, had reported that his sources informed him of a loud explosion in the occupied city at around 7 p.m. on Nov. 11.

While much of the events in occupied territories remain difficult to understand due to how dangerous it is for the remaining Ukrainian residents to reveal on-the-ground information, exiled local officials such as Fedorov usually have sources in the occupied city.

Fedorov said in a follow-up Telegram report, citing local residents, that the occupying authorities have blocked traffic between two local plants that were turned into military bases. It's not clear whether it was directly connected to the blast.

The Kyiv Independent isn't able to independently verify these reports.

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Military: Russia escalates airstrikes in southeastern axes

Russian forces have increased airstrikes in the south, including with aerial guided bombs, General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, the commander of the Tavria Group fighting on the southern front lines, reported on Nov. 12.

Tarnavskyi said the military recorded 30 Russian airstrikes, 712 artillery barrages, and 48 combats between Ukrainian and Russian troops in the area over the past day.

This comes as Ukrainian forces continue their counteroffensive in the Melitopol direction.

Meanwhile, the commander said Ukrainian artillery shelled Russian positions over 1,000 times.

Russia lost 572 troops over the past day along the southeastern axes, Tarnavskyi said.

He did not specify whether this number pertains to soldiers killed or both killed and wounded.

Nonetheless, the general reported that Russia lost 32 pieces of military hardware, including two tanks, 14 armored fighting vehicles, three artillery systems, seven drones, and two anti-tank-guided missile systems, while 21 pieces of military hardware sustained damage.

Ukrainians step up efforts to cross Dnipro, tie up Russian forces in Kherson Oblast
Pressure is mounting on Russian forces across the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast. Ukrainian forces have reportedly stepped up their attacks on Russian positions to try and secure a beachhead and bring heavy armor into the fight. They aren’t quite there yet, but assaults on the eastern bank could

Local authorities: Russian shelling kills 1, injures 1 in Kherson

Russian shelling killed a civilian, 64-year-old man, and wounded a woman, also 64, in Kherson on the morning of Nov. 12, reported Roman Mrochko, the head of the city's military administration.

The man was in the yard of his house when he got wounded. He died in the hospital, according to Mrochko. The woman was at home at the time of the attack. She was hospitalized.

According to Mrochko, the attack took place in the city's Dniprovskyi District, located along the Dnipro River – areas suffering the worst from Russian shelling.

Since Ukraine liberated Kherson on Nov. 11, 2022, Russian forces on the east bank of the Dnipro River continue to heavily shell the southern city, putting the roughly 70,000 remaining civilians at great risk.

Over the past day, Russian forces have attacked Kherson Oblast 62 times, killing one and injuring five civilians over the past day, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported earlier in the morning on Nov. 12.

Under deadly attacks, Kherson fights to keep life going 1 year after liberation
Sitting in a pitch-dark kitchen with just the flashlight on, 70-year-old Viacheslav Bezprozvanyi warned of an incoming shelling as soon as he heard a swish over him. Split seconds later, a thick thud of shelling hit the ground a few hundred meters away. The house shook, knocking off a
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