May 18, 2024

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Russia confirms that its forces are advancing towards western Ukraine after occupying Avdiivka

Russia confirms that its forces are advancing towards western Ukraine after occupying Avdiivka

Members of the Russian army walking through the rubble (Reuters)

Russian forces continued Moving west After controlling the Ukrainian city AvdiivkaAccording to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Friday.

According to the ministry, Russian forces also destroyed several Western-supplied Ukrainian weapons in the past week, including seven Storm Shadow cruise missiles supplied by the United Kingdom, a US Patriot anti-aircraft missile and its launch vehicle, and 42 HIMARS missiles. Launched by multiple launch systems.

Fronts The war that will take place on Saturday is two years oldIt has not been significantly modified since the end of 2022, before the seizure of Avdiivka, and Russia still controls just under a fifth of Ukrainian territory.

The capture of Avdiivka, after months of fighting that resulted in heavy casualties on both sides, was Russia's first major advance since its occupation of the city. Bakhmut in May.

After taking control of Avdiivka, units of the “Center” group of the Russian forces “continued to advance in the western direction,” according to a statement by the Ministry of Defense. He added: “In cooperation with aviation and artillery, they defeated groups of personnel and equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces” in six nearby settlements.

A Russian tank fires at an undisclosed location in Ukraine in this photo published by the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry on February 8, 2024 (AP)

On the other hand, the second anniversary of the Russian invasion comes immediately after Replacement of the commander of the Ukrainian army so far, Who was dismissed by President Volodymyr Zelensky after months of public disagreements.

The agency contacted analysts Evie They rule out radical changes in military strategy, but they warn: If there is no significant increase in Western arms supplies, the Ukrainian army will have to limit itself to defending itself.

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The dismissal of Valery Zalozhny, who was trusted in opinion polls by one in ten Ukrainians, was strongly criticized by the opposition and caused discomfort in a large part of society.

The new commander of the army, Oleksandr Sirsky, has the difficult task of winning the trust of his citizens at a moment that is not very favorable, a priori, for Ukraine, where Unity around Zelensky is eroding In the absence of good news from the front.

Firefighters inspect the site where a Russian missile struck a residential building in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, on February 15, 2024 (AP)

Ukraine is entering the third year of the war with uncertainty over whether it will continue to receive military aid from the United States, as Republican lawmakers block a $60 billion package proposed by the White House to continue supporting Kiev throughout 2024.

As Zelensky has repeated ad nauseam, approval of this provision is necessary so that Ukraine can continue to defend itself with guarantees against Russian attacks, both on the battlefield and in the rear.

This requires air defense systems and long-range missiles, in addition Expected F-16 fighters Which should arrive in the middle of this year.

Kiev is also awaiting receipt of nearly half a million 155-caliber artillery shells that the European Union has committed to delivering to Ukraine before March of this year. Naturally, Brussels managed to avoid the Hungarian blockade and agreed to an aid package 50 billion euros in aid for the next four years Added to this is the commitment shown in recent months by countries such as Germany and France.

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(With information from AFP and EFE)