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About 10,000 Ukrainians living in 'dire conditions' in Bakhmut amid conflict
Kyiv: Amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, about 10,000 Ukrainian civilians have been living in dire conditions, Al Jazeera reported citing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Saturday.
The eastern city of Bakhmut has become a crucial target in Russia's winter drive to completely annex Ukraine's industrialised Donbas region. It is also the site of the largest fight in the Russia-Ukraine war in recent months. Despite thousands of soldiers being killed on both sides, the Russian offensive has so far produced little progress.
"For the civilians that are stuck there, they are living in very dire conditions, spending almost the entire days in intense shelling in the shelters," the ICRC's Umar Khan said at a news briefing on Friday, speaking by video link from Dnipro, a city 260 km (160 miles) west of Bakhmut, Al Jazeera reported.
On Friday, Russian soldiers launched attacks on both the northern and southern parts of the front in the Donbas region, continuing their advance despite claims from Kyiv that Moscow's operation was waning near Bakhmut, Al Jazeera reported.
The United States recently announced that it will send Ukraine USD 350 million in weapons and equipment as the battle with Russian forces continues for control of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.
"Today, pursuant to a delegation of authority from President Biden, I am authorizing our 34th drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine valued at USD 350 million," said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement issued by the US State Department on Monday this week.
"This military assistance package includes more ammunition for US-provided HIMARS and howitzers that Ukraine is using to defend itself, as well as ammunition for Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, HARM missiles, anti-tank weapons, riverine boats, and other equipment," the statement read.
The US applauds the more than 50 countries that have come together to provide support for Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the statement read.
"This week, as Russia's unconscionable war of aggression against Ukraine continues at great human cost, we are again reminded of the boundless courage and steadfast resolve of the Ukrainian people, and the strong support for Ukraine across the international community," Blinken said.
He added: "Russia alone could end its war today. Until Russia does, we will stand united with Ukraine for as long as it takes." (ANI)