Alexander Sersky, commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, admitted yesterday that the situation around the town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, which the Russians have been trying to capture since the summer and where they have made some progress lately, is “very tense.” weeks. The official army media center quotes Sirsky: “The situation in the Bakhmut area is very tense. The enemy sent the most trained units (armed group) of Wagner, who are trying to break through the defenses of our troops and besiege the city. Bakhmut, whose strategic importance is not great, has become a symbol of the struggle for control over the Donbass (east). In recent weeks, the Russians have been slowly advancing in this industrial city, which had a population of about 70,000 before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began a year ago. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday that the situation in the industrial city of Bakhmut is getting worse as the Russian offensive continues, adding that “the enemy is constantly destroying everything that can be used to protect our soldiers.” Zelensky pointed out that his country would not be able to protect its airspace unless the aviation “taboo” was lifted. Russian forces are scrambling to cut the supply lines of the Ukrainian troops defending the city and force them to surrender or retreat, giving Russia its first clear victory in over half a year and paving the way for the capture of the last urban centers in Donetsk Oblast. In this context, the Russian private military group Wagner continues to advance around the city and control a number of surrounding villages, as its head Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Saturday that his fighters took control of the village of Yakhidny, located immediately north of the city, which is located on east of Ukraine. Moscow attaches great importance to the control of Bakhmut, but observers believe that this case will be nothing more than symbolic, given the city’s limited strategic importance. Also on the ground, the head of the pro-Moscow Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, said on Monday that all roads leading to Bakhmut were “under fire control” by pro-Russian forces. On the ground, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced yesterday that Russian forces conducted an air defense exercise in the western region, in coordination with civilian authorities, where they identified and intercepted a dummy target believed to have violated Russian regulations. air space. A Russian defense statement said: “Forces operating in the western region in charge of air defense conducted exercises to interact with civilian air traffic control.” And further in the statement: “During the exercise, the air defense forces on duty worked out the issues of detecting, intercepting and identifying the alleged target of the intelligence officer, as well as interacting with emergency services and law enforcement agencies in case of emergencies.” A previously informed source told Sputnik that the restrictions imposed on the airspace over St. Petersburg after it was closed due to the observation of an “unidentified object” in the sky over the city have been lifted. In addition, the Russian Defense Ministry yesterday accused the United States of planning to provoke Ukraine by using pesticides, explaining that NATO is preparing to supply Ukraine with 600,000 doses of antidote for poisonous substances. This was the reaction of the Russian presidency to the plan put forward by China to establish peace in Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin attaches great importance to the plan of Chinese friends, but its details must be subjected to careful analysis and calculations, which is a long and cumbersome process. Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of Russia’s National Security Council, warned of a “global catastrophe” if the West continues to supply Ukraine with modern weapons. On the other hand, CIA director William Burns said he warned the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, Sergei Naryshkin, during a meeting between them last November of the “terrible consequences” that would follow the use of any nuclear weapon.