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Ukraine updates: Russian forces claim to encircle Bakhmut

Deutsche Welle 2/1/2023 Deutsche Welle
Ukraine's military said it has repelled attacks in the town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine © Yan Dobronosov/REUTERS Ukraine's military said it has repelled attacks in the town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine

A Russian installed official claims the eastern town of Bakhmut has been surrounded according to reports. Follow DW for more.There have been reported claims on Wednesday that the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut has been surrounded by Russian forces, Reuters news agency reported.

"Bakhmut is now operationally surrounded, our forces are closing the ring around the city," said Yan Gagin, an aide to Denis Pushilin -- the Russia-backed leader of the illegally annexed Donetsk region, during a television address.

Gagin claimed that fighting was now taking place for control of the Chasiv-Yar-Bakhmut highway.

Ukraine's military leadership, meanwhile, said there has been no let up with Russian offensive operations on the Lyman and Bakhmut axes, but spoke of the heavy losses Russian forces were incurring in their battle to take the town.

"The invaders are suffering heavy losses," the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in its latest situation report, adding that attacks had been repelled in Bakhmut, mentioned among a list of other towns in Donetsk.

The city has been the scene of fierce fighting for months, with Russian forces and mercenaries from the Wagner group locked in a grinding battle with Ukrainian forces.

Here are other updates on the war in Ukraine on Wednesday, February 1:

Russian journalist sentenced for spreading 'false information'

A Russian court has sentenced journalist Alexander Nevzorov to eight years imprisonment after he was found guilty of spreading "false information" about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The television journalist and former lawmaker fled Russia following the start of the invasion and was sentenced in absentia.

Nevzorov was accused of manipulating coverage of the siege of Mariupol, he came under particular scrutiny for reporting that a maternity hospital in the port city was purposefully shelled by Russian forces.

Russian lawmakers approved new laws after the invasion that criminalized the dissemination of false information.

Opposition politician Ilya Yashin was sentenced to eight and a half years behind bars under the same law, while another leading opponent, Vladimir Kara-Murza, is in custody facing the same charges.

Spain to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine -- report

Spain is planning to send between four and six Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, according to a report from El Pais newspaper, citing government sources.

The number of tanks being sent to Kyiv would depend on the condition of Leopards in storage and also on how many other countries would be supplying Ukraine, according to the report.

There has been no immediate comment from Spain's Defense Ministry.

A week ago several countries pledged to send battle tanks to Ukraine to help fend off invading Russian forces, after continued requests from Ukraine's leadership.

Ukraine looking to secure long-range missiles, aircraft

Ukraine's senior adviser in the presidency said that talks were underway to secure longer-range missiles and fighter aircraft to help in the fight against Russia's invasion.

"Each war stage requires certain weapons. Amassing RF's (Russia's) reserves in the occupied territories requirespecifics from (Ukraine) & partners," adviser Mykhailo Podolyak posted on Twitter.

"So: 1. There is already a tank coalition (logistics, training, supply). 2. There are already talks on longer-range missiles & attack aircraft supply," Podolyak said.

The Kremlin meanwhile said that Western deliveries of long-range weapons to Ukraine would not change Russia's military objectives in Ukraine.

"This is a direct course to whipping up tension and to escalating the level (of fighting). But again, it won't change the course of events," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in a response to a question about the possibility of the US supplying missiles with long-range capabilities.

More DW coverage on the war in Ukraine

Read more about a Kharkiv architect's plan to help reconstruct the Ukrainian city destroyed by war.

And will fighter aircraft be next on the list of pledges as Ukraine? More on that story here.

kb/sms (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

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