Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for a faster delivery of weapons from the West as Russian forces increase pressure on the country’s garrison.
Russian forces have been attacking Ukrainian positions in the eastern part of the country in recent weeks, seeking a breakthrough ahead. Tanks promised by Kyiv partners Start arriving on the battlefield. In the eastern Donetsk region, Ukrainian forces are under constant attack from Russian forces, Zelensky said in his evening speech, describing the situation as “very grim”.
“The speed of supply is one of the key factors in this war,” he said. “Russia wants to prolong the war and deplete its forces, so we have to weaponize time. We must accelerate the opening up.”
The US, Germany and other European nations pledged to supply Kyiv with tanks last week, but will be a few months before they are deployed into battle.
During a visit to South Korea on Monday, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made the request to Seoul. provide military assistance to Ukraine, said the country was in dire need of ammunition. South Korea sent supplies to Ukraine, including gas masks, bulletproof vests and medical supplies, but refused to provide lethal weapons, citing a law prohibiting the provision of arms to countries involved in the conflict.
After months of unsuccessful attacks on Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine, Russian forces are moving around it intersection of several major roads. Ukrainian forces in the region say it is becoming increasingly difficult to fend off Russian attacks.
Controlling Bakhmut would help Russia advance in other cities in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region.
identified as the main objective of his campaign in Ukraine. It is also a major symbolic award after months of intense fighting that turned Bahamut into the epicenter of the war, killing and wounding thousands of soldiers on both sides.
Denis Pushirin, head of the part of eastern Ukraine that Moscow cut off from the country in 2014, said Russian forces were advancing in key areas of Bakhmut, but said Russian forces had surrounded the city. is premature.
Pushirin said the current priority was to cut off the road used to supply Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut from Chasib Yar in the west.
Russian troops are also encamped east of Vkhredal, another Donetsk town, he said.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces appeared to attack supply lines to Russia-occupied Crimea over the weekend. Russian-backed governor Evgeny Baritsky said on Sunday that Ukrainian forces had attacked a railway bridge near the city of Melitopol in the occupied territory of the Zaporizhia region.
In a statement posted on social media, Balitsky said four civilians were killed and five injured in an attack by a US-made multiple rocket launcher known as the Himar.
The recent push comes as Russia seeks to gain momentum afterward. Capture the town of Soledar, just outside Bahmut, saw its first major success in months in early January. In the south, Russian forces are also stepping up their offensive in the Zaporizhia region, also claimed by Moscow.
The influx of Russian troops, many of whom are prisoners who have joined the Russian militia Wagner or soldiers recently mobilized into the regular army, gives Moscow a manpower advantage.
The UK Ministry of Defense said Russian officials likely left the door open for further rounds of mobilization. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week that orders on “partial mobilization” remain in force to support military operations. However, he declined to say whether more people would be drafted soon.
“It is very likely that the Russian leadership will continue to seek ways to meet the large number of personnel needed for a future major offensive in Ukraine while minimizing domestic dissent.”
—Bojan Pancevski contributed to this article.
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