Ukraine Army Chief Warns of Escalating Russian Assaults on Eastern Front

Sat Apr 13 2024
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KYIV: Ukraine’s army chief has reported a significant escalation of hostilities on the eastern front, as Russia intensified its armored assaults and engaged in fierce battles for control of a village west of the devastated city of Bakhmut on Saturday.

Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi’s statement underscored the growing concern in Kyiv, exacerbated by the delay in vital US military aid stalled in Congress.

Syrskyi, who personally visited the embattled area to assess the situation, said that Russia’s assault groups, utilizing tanks and armored personnel carriers, seized the opportunity presented by dry and warm weather to advance. He attributed the heightened tensions to increased offensive actions by Russia following President Vladimir Putin’s reelection.

Since Putin’s reelection in mid-March, Russia has escalated attacks on Ukraine, launching three significant aerial strikes on its energy infrastructure, causing extensive damage. The delayed military assistance from the West has left Ukraine vulnerable to aerial assaults and outmatched on the battlefield, prompting urgent appeals for air defense missiles.

Ukraine Appeals for Urgent Defense Supplies

Despite significant losses, Russian forces have managed tactical gains, with reports circulating on social media about the fall of Bohdanivka village, which Kyiv’s defense ministry denied while acknowledging fierce fighting in the area. The village’s strategic location lies northeast of Chasiv Yar, a stronghold under Kyiv’s control that Russia aims to reach after capturing Avdiivka in February.

Syrskyi highlighted Russian armored assault groups targeting Kyiv’s positions in Lyman and Bakhmut, using dozens of tanks and armored personnel carriers to breach lines on the Pokrovsk front.

He stressed that only a technological advantage in sophisticated weaponry would enable Kyiv to gain the strategic upper hand against a better-equipped and larger adversary.

Calling for improved soldier training, particularly in infantry, Syrskyi addressed Ukraine’s manpower challenges.

Ukraine’s parliament passed a bill on Thursday to overhaul the armed forces’ civilian draft process, while President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed legislation reducing the draft age from 27 to 25, reflecting ongoing efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities.

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