Ukraine prepares counteroffensive as Russia’s assault on Bakhmut flags

Ukraine war

Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukraine war- According to a commander, Ukrainian troops who have been on the defensive for months will soon launch a counterattack as Russia’s offensive appears to be weakening.

However, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned that the Ukraine war could last for years without a faster supply of arms. Zelenskiy urged Europe to increase and accelerate its supply of weapons, including long-range missiles, ammunition, and modern aircraft, and to impose additional sanctions on Russia.

The European Union leaders approved a plan to send 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine over the next year and discussed global food security and sanctions on Russia. Slovakia has already handed over the first four pledged MiG-29 jets to Ukraine, and the rest will be delivered soon. Ukrainian ground forces commander Oleksandr Syrskyi said his forces would soon launch a counteroffensive, as Wagner mercenaries are losing considerable strength and running out of steam.

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin ‘s Warning

Russian Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin warned of a Ukrainian counterassault, but Reuters journalists near the front line saw signs that the Russian offensive in the area could be weakening. The intensity of the Russian bombardment at a Ukrainian-held village west of Soledar noticeably lessened in the last three days, according to a Ukrainian soldier with the call sign “Kamin” or “Stone.”

Russia may be diverting its troops and resources to other areas, as suggested by the slowdown in their attacks on Bakhmut. According to Britain, Russian troops have made gains further north this month, partially regaining control over the approaches to the town of Kreminna, with intense battles also underway further south.

Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov agreed with this assessment, stating on YouTube that Russia’s attacks on Bakhmut were decreasing and that it was shifting its efforts south to the town of Avdiivka. He also noted that Russia’s forces have become more active in areas to the north in the Kharkiv and Luhansk regions, as well as central Zaporizhzhia and southern Kherson regions.

If confirmed, any shift in momentum in Bakhmut would be remarkable given the city’s symbolic importance as the focus of Russia’s offensive, and the scale of the losses on both sides there in Europe’s bloodiest infantry battle since World War Two. On the ground in Ukraine, the front lines have largely been frozen since November, and although Ukraine had looked likely to pull out of Bakhmut weeks ago, they decided to fight on.

Zelenskiy visits front-line provinces

Earlier on Thursday, Zelenskiy continued his tour of front-line provinces, visiting the Kherson region in the south a day after meeting troops near Bakhmut. A video showed him meeting residents in Posad Pokrovske, a bombed-out village on the former Kherson front line recaptured in Ukraine’s last big advance last year.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, calling it a “special military operation” due to Ukraine’s ties to the West being a security threat. Since then, tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers on both sides have been killed, with Russia destroying Ukrainian cities and forcing millions of people to flee. It claims to have annexed nearly a fifth of Ukraine, while Kyiv and the West call the war an unprovoked assault to subdue an independent country.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that the EU would work to find Ukrainian children who were deported to Russia and press for their return. She noted that 16,200 children had been deported, and only 300 had returned to Ukraine. The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin a week ago for the forcible removal of Ukrainian children, with von der Leyen calling it a war crime and a horrible reminder of the darkest times in history.

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