5 Ukrainian civilians killed as warring sides mull next move

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Kyiv, UKRAINE (AP) — Fighting remained largely stalemated in eastern Ukraine on Monday as the militants assessed the need for a new military push expected in the coming weeks, Ukrainian officials said. Yes, five civilians were killed the day before by Russian artillery fire.

Casualties included a woman killed and three others injured in Russian shelling of Kharkov, Ukraine’s second-largest city in northeast Ukraine, regional governor Oleh Syniyehubov said on Monday.

Russian forces occupied large areas northeast of Kharkov in the months that followed. intrusion That neighbor last February. However, the Ukrainian counteroffensive that began in August recaptured Russian-occupied territories, particularly in Kharkov.

These successes gave weight to Ukraine’s claim that if its Western allies provided more weapons, its forces could inflict more crushing defeats on Russia.

Kyiv won last week the promise of tanks from America and Germany.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday, Future commitments“Activities aimed at strengthening Ukraine’s defense capabilities are under discussion with NATO partners,” it said.

However, such a move could run into familiar political obstacles.

Prime Minister Olaf Scholz complain for weeks It looks like he’s ready to dig his heels over sending German Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine over providing fighter jets. Germany will not play a significant role in delivering aircraft like the Leopard, which is German-made and requires German export approval.

Scholz, who is traveling in South America, said he regretted the air controversy.

He said in Chile on Sunday that a serious discussion was needed and that “domestic political motives probably come to the fore rather than support for Ukraine, rather than a race to beat each other.”

Military analysts say more aid is essential for Ukraine to thwart an anticipated Russian spring offensive and launch its own efforts to push back Russian forces.

“Western aid delivery patterns have strongly shaped the pattern of this conflict,” the War Research Institute, a US-based think tank, said late Sunday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was important to maintain the pace of allied assistance.

“The speed of supply is one of the key factors in this war. Russia wants to prolong the war and exhaust our military, so we have to weaponize time,” he said. said in a video address Sunday night. “We need to speed up events, speed up supplies, and accelerate the opening of new weapon options needed by Ukraine.”

Western demands for weapons in Kyiv extend beyond NATO as the war approaches a year and resources on both sides are depleted.

The secretary general of the alliance Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday summoned to South Korea Send direct military aid to Ukraine. South Korea is a growing arms exporter with a well-equipped U.S.-backed military.

France and Australia announced on Monday Joint production and transmission schedule Thousands of 155mm shells into Ukraine. First shipments are expected in the first quarter of this year.

On the Russian side, there are signs that more personnel may join the fight.

Britain’s defense ministry said on Monday that the Kremlin had not formally withdrawn last September’s order for the partial mobilization of reservists that increased the number of troops for fighting in Ukraine. said it may have left the door open for Autumn mobilization was further reported that he had amassed 300,000 troops.

“Russian leadership may continue to seek ways to meet the large number of personnel needed to fund future large-scale attacks in Ukraine while minimizing domestic dissent. high,” he tweeted.

Russian authorities, while using mercenary forces, deny plans to mobilize additional forces.

Amid growing talk of military aid from Ukraine’s allies, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov argued that Western weapons could not stop Russia.

“Ukraine continues to demand new weapons, and Western countries are encouraging those demands,” Peskov said at a news conference on Monday. “It’s a deadlock. The result is a serious escalation, and more NATO members involved in the conflict.”

The Ukrainian president’s office said the situation in the eastern Donetsk region, where intense fighting has raged for months, remains “always grim”.

Heavy fighting continued around Bakhmut and Vuhledar, with regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko saying 15 towns and villages were hit by shelling on Sunday. Russian officials claimed his Vuhledar advance could not be independently verified.

Russian forces have been trying to capture Bakhmut for months wagner groupis a private military company headed by a billionaire with long-standing ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Ukrainian military announced an organized withdrawal last week. SoledarLocated about 18 kilometers (11 miles) from Bahmut, it is under pressure from Wagner believed to contain a large number of prisoners.

Ukrainian officials said the southern city of Kherson was also hit by Russian shelling. Bombings damaged homes, hospitals, schools, bus stations, banks and post offices.

Two foreign ships were damaged in the port of Kherson, the president’s office added without elaborating.

At a press conference in Odessa on Monday, Zelensky said the Russian military appeared to be seeking revenge on Ukraine for its success on the battlefield, adding: “The attack will bring convincing positive results to their society. He vowed to “stop them bit by bit, defeat them, and prepare our massive counterattack.”


Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine. https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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