Ukraine war: Zelenskiy urges faster military aid

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called for faster military aid from Ukraine’s allies as he said Russia was in a hurry to achieve as much as it can with its latest push before Ukraine and its allies gather strength.

Zelenskiy made the call as NATO defence chiefs met in Brussels for talks on Tuesday.

“The situation on the front line, especially in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, remains very difficult. The battles are literally for every foot of Ukrainian land,” Zelenskiy said in his evening address on Tuesday.

“That is why speed is of the essence. Speed in everything – adopting decisions, carrying out decisions, shipping supplies, training. Speed saves people’s lives.” He said

Ukraine is using shells faster than the West can make them and says it needs fighter jets and long-range missiles to counter the Russian offensive and recapture lost territory.

Western support

The United States and NATO have pledged that Western support will not falter in the face of a looming Russian offensive.

Representatives of the 27 European Union countries meet in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss a new batch of sanctions against Russia, with politicians, military leaders and four more Russian banks expected to be targeted. Any new measures would require the unanimous backing of all EU member states.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said supplying Ukraine with fighter jets would certainly be discussed but that it was not a focus at the moment.

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Western allies could help Ukraine more quickly by supporting their position on the ground rather than focusing on the provision of jets.

Meanwhile Russia said on Wednesday its troops have broken through two fortified lines of Ukrainian defences on the eastern front.

Also Read: New Russian offensive underway in Ukraine

The Russian Defence Ministry said the Ukrainians had retreated in the face of Russian attacks in the Luhansk region, although it provided no details.

“During the offensive … the Ukrainian troops randomly retreated to a distance of up to 3 km (1.9 miles) from the previously occupied lines,” the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app.

“Even the more fortified second line of defence of the enemy could not hold the breakthrough of the Russian military.” It added.

The Kremlin has intensified attacks across a swathe of southern and eastern Ukraine in recent weeks, and a major new offensive has been widely anticipated.

Russia’s main effort has been focused on the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk province adjacent to Luhansk.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces did not mention any significant setbacks in Luhansk in its morning update on Wednesday.

It said Ukrainian units had repelled attacks in the areas of more than 20 settlements, including Bakhmut and Vuhledar – a town 150 km (90 miles) southwest of Bakhmut.

 

Zainad Sa’id

Source Reuters

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