Photo Credit: State Emergency Service of Ukraine /
Russian bombing in Bakhmut, eastern Ukraine, on August 5, 2022

The Russian army appears to have launched its expected new offensive against Ukraine, battering the eastern city of Bakhmut, located in Donetsk province, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Over the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian military said its forces had repelled attacks in five areas in Luhansk and six in Donetsk, including around Bakhmut, a regional road and rail transport and logistics hub.


“There is not a single square meter in Bakhmut that is safe or that is not in range of enemy fire or drones,” regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told Ukraine’s national broadcaster.

At present, Russia controls areas in the southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, including its nuclear plant, as well as nearly all of Luhansk and more than half of Donetsk.

In addition to Bakhmut, fighting has intensified in Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv, Reuters reported.

Bakhmut has seen months of shelling; many districts are completely demolished. Of the 70,000 people who once lived in the area, just 5,000 civilians remain, Kyrylenko lamented.

Defense ministers from member NATO states met Tuesday to discuss bolstering their support for Ukraine.

One of the most important issues faced by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is the fact that it was not prepared for a long, extended war.

And now a major new Russian offensive is getting underway as Moscow’s war on Ukraine approaches its first-year anniversary mark on February 24.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters prior to the meeting of the so-called “Ramstein Group” in Brussels that it is clear the West must increase ammunition supplies to Ukraine.

NATO defense ministers were slated to meet later in the day.

“We see no signs that President [Vladimir] Putin is preparing for peace,” Stoltenberg said.

“What we see is the opposite; he is preparing for more war, for new offensives and new attacks.”

That’s a problem, because Ukraine appears to be using the shells it has received at a rate faster than it takes for the West to produce more.

“The Kremlin is still betting that it can wait us out,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin observed, but said the US and NATO are with Ukraine for however long it takes.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.