Spread the love

Russia claims new progress against a Ukraine lacking weapons

Russia claimed Tuesday the capture of a new village in eastern Ukraine, new progress in the face of a Ukrainian army lacking men and ammunition due to the running out of Western aid.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has just been re-elected, is hammering home Russian unity behind his assault on his neighbor, has ordered his security services to “punish” the anti-Kremlin fighters who have been increasing attacks on Russian territory for a week.

These cross-border offensives aimed in particular to disrupt the Russian presidential election, which resulted in the re-election of the Russian president, while the opposition was eradicated by repression.

In Ukraine, the Russian army is slowly advancing in Donbass (east). Russian forces “liberated the town of Orlivka”, claimed the Ministry of Defense on Tuesday, specifying that they had also “improved” their positions in the area.

It is located northwest of the town of Avdiïvka, conquered by Moscow in February, a victory at the cost of heavy destruction but which highlighted Kiev's difficulties.

At the end of February, by abandoning the neighboring village of Lastochkyné, the Ukrainian forces had nevertheless indicated that they were going to take refuge behind new defense lines in Orlivka in order to contain the Russian advance.

– “Critical importance” –

Russia claims new progress against a Ukraine lacking weapons

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin (left) and Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov during a meeting of the contact group of Ukraine's allies at the U.S. base in Ramstein, Germany, on March 19, 2024 © AFP – Daniel ROLAND

The Moscow army, despite significant losses, gradually conquered territory, particularly in the area of ​​Avdiïvka and that, further north, of Chassiv Iar, a key town where the Ukrainian army withdrew after the fall of Bakhmut in May 2023.

Ukraine, whose army emerged very weakened from its failed counter-offensive of the summer 2023, repeats its urgent need for weapons and ammunition in the face of multiple Russian assaults. She assures that with enough shells, she could contain them.

But the American political class has been torn apart for months over the support to be given to kyiv, with Donald Trump's Republicans blocking the aid that Democratic President Joe Biden has been seeking to have approved for many months. Enough to fuel a certain exasperation in Ukraine.

“What shocks us is that the decision has not yet been adopted. We are approaching the end of March and the deliberations continue” again, declared Tuesday the head of Ukrainian diplomacy Dmytro Kouleba.

Ukraine does not rule out the idea, proposed by Donald Trump, of providing this American assistance under the form of loans rather than donations, but needs to have more details, Mr. Kouleba further underlined.

On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky considered the “rapid” approval of this $60 billion in aid to be “critically important”.

Russia claims new progress against a Ukraine lacking weapons

A Russian flag reflected in a window damaged by an air attack in Razumnoye, Russia, near Belgorod, March 19, 2024 © AFP – STRINGER

On Tuesday, he again called for anti-aircraft defenses to counter the hundreds of drones, missiles and aerial bombs that Russia drops on Ukraine every month.

The The United States tried to reassure, through its Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, promising Tuesday that they “will not let Ukraine fail”.

At the same time, Europe has fallen behind in its own deliveries, its industrial capacities remaining limited.

Ukraine is also faced with the problem of recruiting new soldiers in this difficult military context.

The Kremlin has, on the contrary, moved to a war economy, dedicating a large part of its budget and its industry to military production.

Russia claims new progress against a Ukraine lacking weapons

Damage after a new air attack in Razumnoye (Russia), near Belgorod, March 19, 2024 © AFP – STRINGER

Moscow also assures that, every month, tens of thousands of men sign to join the army, replenishing its ranks after its heavy losses.

– “Garbage” –

But Russia is far from a breakthrough and is facing an increase in attacks on its soil.

Units claiming to be composed of anti-Putin Russians have increased ground and air assaults in recent days, killing 16 people and wounding nearly a hundred in one week in the Belgorod region, according to the authorities. They also announced on Tuesday the evacuation of “around 9,000” children from the area.

Russia claims new progress against a Ukraine lacking weapons

Ukraine: positions of military forces © AFP – Valentin RAKOVSKY, Sophie RAMIS, Cléa PECULIER

A representative of these fighters, going by the alias Fortuna, indicated on Ukrainian television that “one of (their) military objectives is to force the transfer of (Russian) troops from the front to the border to defend it.

Faced with those responsible for the powerful FSB, the Russian security services which also control the country's borders, Vladimir Putin ordered to “punish” these attackers, calling them “trash” and “traitors”.

“We will punish them in an imprescriptible way, wherever they are”, he said.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116