Putin Keeps Fighting, But He Has a Looking Troop Shortage Issue – A day after Russian forces launched one of the biggest aerial assaults on Ukraine, Russian troops on Friday shelled Ukrainian towns along the frontlines from the north to the south.
In a statement published on Friday evening, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed that Russian forces attempted to advance near Avdiivka and Bakhmut, shelling towns and villages as they tried. Russian forces reportedly fired at Bakhmut, Kudryumivka, Soledar, Kostyantynivka, Nevelske, and Maryinka.
Successful advances near Avdiivka and Bakhmut will give Russian forces an advantage as they attempt to take full control of the Donetsk region.
In the southern Zaporizhzhia region, Russian shelling impacted the contested town of Hulyaipole.
At the same time, shelling also took place in Nikopol, a city controlled by the Ukrainians and located on the other side of the Kakhovka reservoir near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
Russia launched similar attacks on Nikopol just two weeks ago.
In mid-December, Valentyn Reznichenko, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration, revealed on Twitter how Russian forces shelled three civilian population centers – Chervonohryjorivka, Marhanets, and Nikopol, using heavy artillery.
Russia Running Out Of Troops In Bakhmut
According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russia is quickly running out of troops in the battle for Bakhmut.
According to an assessment earlier this week, Russian forces in the Bakhmut region could be reaching a “culmination,” whereby the invading forces can no longer continue their advance.
The American thank tank said that the scale of Russian losses in Bakhmut likely means that Russian forces in the area are now splitting up their battalions and using squad-sized assault groups to continue putting pressure on Ukrainian defense forces.
Zelenskyy Says Ukraine Advancing In Donbas
On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukrainian forces are successfully holding their positions in Ukraine and that some battalions are even making advances against Russian troops in the Donbas region.
“On the whole, we are holding our positions,” Zelensky said during his Friday night television address. “There are also some areas of the front where we are advancing a bit.”
According to the president, Ukraine is also making progress in strengthening its anti-aircraft defense capabilities, using a network of Western-supplied missile systems.
Zelenskyy also said that Ukraine will continue to strengthen its air defenses into the new year to protect the country against Russian missile and drone bombardments.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.