In the fighting in Ukraine, the warring factions Kiev and Moscow are complaining about a lack of ammunition - especially during the fierce battles for the city of Bakhmut in the east.
According to official information, Ukrainian commander-in-chief Valeriy Zalushnyi telephoned US Chief of Staff Mark Milley to draw attention to the necessary delivery of ammunition and technology. In addition, the country's anti-aircraft defense must be strengthened, he said. According to its chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian private army Wagner also continues to complain about a lack of artillery shells and cartridges.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told "Bild am Sonntag" that a lack of ammunition was the "number one" problem in the fight against the Russian occupiers. "Germany could really help more with ammunition. With artillery ammunition," he said. Western experts assume that Russia's reserves have also shrunk sharply.
The Russian mercenary force Wagner alone needs 10,000 tons of ammunition per month for the battle for Bakhmut, Prigozhin said in a video. He urged the Russian leadership to deliver. The video allegedly shows him on the roof of a house in the largely destroyed town of Bakhmut - about 1.2 kilometers from the administrative center held by Ukrainian troops. Many destroyed houses and streets could be seen in the video - comparatively rare shots from the city, which once had 70,000 inhabitants. Only a few thousand live there today. "We will win," said Prigozhin.
According to Foreign Minister Kuleba, Ukraine will continue to resolutely defend Bakhmut despite heavy losses. The longer the city is defended, the greater the likelihood "that other cities will not suffer the same fate."
The strategically important town of Bachmut has been contested since late summer. It is the main part of the line of defense between Siwersk and Bakhmut in the Donetsk region established after the Russian conquest of Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk. If successful, the way to the major cities of Slovjansk and Kramatorsk opened up for the Russian troops. This could bring a complete conquest of the Donetsk region closer.
Selenskyj: Russia is a "synonym for terror"
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has complained about new "brutal terrorist attacks" by Russia in other regions as well. These attacks against towns and communities are happening day and night, he said in his video message distributed every evening in Kiev. "Missiles and artillery, drones and mortars - the evil state uses a variety of weapons with the sole aim of destroying life and leaving nothing human behind," Zelenskyy said.
"Ruins, rubble, puncture marks on the ground are Russia's self-portrait, which it paints where there is life without Russia," said the head of state. The country represents evil. "It has become synonymous with terror and will be an example of defeat and just punishment for its terror."
Zelenskyy mentioned several cities and regions that were particularly affected by new Russian attacks. The Kharkiv region alone has experienced 40 rocket attacks since the beginning of the year. In the city of Cherson, three Ukrainians were killed by Russian fire on their way to go shopping on Saturday.
In his video message, Zelenskyi also informed about a new decree he signed on sanctions against more than 280 companies and 120 people. With the help of gambling businesses, they damaged Ukraine and withdrew funds from the state, which then flowed to Russian structures. The channels through which billions had flown were therefore closed. Zelenskyj gave no details. Its decree contains the names of bookmakers active in the post-Soviet space.
Russia has been waging aggressive war against Ukraine since February 24 last year. In an annexation that was internationally criticized as a breach of international law, Russia occupied the Donetsk, Luhansk, Cherson and Zaporizhia regions last year. In no region does Moscow have complete control. Zelenskyj has announced that he will liberate all areas - including the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was annexed in 2014.
Russian reservists are demanding military assistance from Putin
In a new video appeal, Russian reservists in the war zone in eastern Ukraine have complained about grievances in the troops and called on Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin for help. As commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Putin should ensure that the commanders do their job, said a hooded spokesman in the message recorded on Saturday and distributed by Telegram. A dozen people in uniform can be seen on the video – also with no recognizable faces.
The group's spokesman complained of a lack of equipment, including night vision goggles, and a lack of leadership from commanders. The commanders would simply ignore the presidential decree and deploy unprepared units in the assault squads, the man lamented. "We do not refuse to perform the tasks of territorial defense. We refuse to take unjustified risks - with machine guns against tanks, against mortars and snipers."
What will be important on Sunday
The focus of the fighting is still in the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. There, both warring parties announced that they would not give up despite heavy losses.