Particularly bloody and costly battles have been raging in eastern Ukraine for weeks. President Selenskyj is now depriving the local commander of responsibility – a few days after the Wagner group claimed the capture of two villages for itself.

A good year after the Russian troops officially marched in, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed a high-ranking commander in eastern Donbass. According to a decree by Zelensky, Eduard Moskalyov will be relieved of his post as commander of the armed forces. A reason was not initially given. Moskalyov had held the post since March 2022, shortly after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine ordered by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin.

The fighting in eastern Ukraine is currently among the fiercest in the entire country. For weeks, extremely bloody and costly battles have been raging around the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region in particular. Also with the help of Western weapons, the attacked Ukraine is planning a counter-offensive to liberate occupied areas this spring.

A few days ago, the Russian mercenary group Wagner reported that a suburb of Bakhmut had been taken. Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin said his fighters had taken “complete control” over the village of Yahidne. The day before Prigozhin had announced the capture of the village of Berkhivka northwest of Bakhmut. However, the Ukrainian general staff disagreed – the Russian armed forces had been unsuccessful in their offensive near Yahidne.

The Battle of Bakhmut is the longest-running battle in the year-long Russian offensive. According to analysts, the city is of little strategic importance – a revenue would therefore have primarily symbolic value for Moscow.