Russia Claims Capture of 400 Square Kilometers of Ukrainian Territory

Tue Apr 02 2024
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MOSCOW: Russia said Tuesday its forces had captured 400 square kilometers (150 square miles) of Ukrainian territory this year.

The declaration came amidst reports of ongoing struggles within the Ukrainian military due to manpower and ammunition shortages exacerbated by delays in crucial Western aid.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu disclosed the territorial acquisitions during a meeting with Russia’s military chiefs, citing gains in the Donetsk, Kherson, Lugansk, and Zaporizhzhia regions. These regions, Moscow claimed to have annexed in 2022, despite not having full control over them.

“Russian armed forces continue to push Ukrainian units westwards,” Shoigu stated, as per a transcript published by the defense ministry.

In February, Russia’s forces captured the frontline town of Avdiivka, situated just outside the Russian-held regional capital of Donetsk city, marking a significant territorial advance since May of the previous year.

Russia Captures Five Settlements

Shoigu further revealed that Russian forces had recently captured five settlements, including four in Donetsk and one in Zaporizhzhia, over the last month.

However, amidst Russia’s apparent gains, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) highlighted concerns over continued delays in US security assistance to Kyiv, stating that the recent acceleration in Russian advancements on the battlefield did not reflect the threat of Russian operational success.

The ISW report noted that Ukraine faced “materiel constraints” on its defensive capabilities, with a $60 billion package of military support held up in the US Congress and promised deliveries of artillery shells from Europe to Ukraine running behind schedule.

The ISW estimates suggest that Russia now controls over 100,000 square kilometers, nearly a fifth of Ukrainian territory.

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