Ukraine increasingly on the defensive

As of: February 27, 2024 7:15 p.m

The Ukrainian military has withdrawn from two more villages near Avdiivka. This is also due to the lack of ammunition. There is no aid from the USA. US President Biden addressed Congress again.

Ukraine is coming under increasing pressure on the front. The army has withdrawn from two more villages near the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka that were recently captured by Russian forces, a Ukrainian military spokesman said. “Our forces have withdrawn from the small villages of Sievierne and Stepove,” the spokesman said, adding that Russia had suffered significant losses in previous fighting.

Heavy fighting is also reported around the city of Chasiv Yar. The suburbs of Ivanivske and Bogdanivka in particular are being fought over, army spokesman Ilya Yevlash said on television. Meanwhile, the Russian army said it had captured another village near the city of Avdiivka, which it had recently taken under its control. The information cannot be independently verified.

Russia is deploying reserves and trying to reinforce its troops with attack units, Yevlash said. Chasiv Yar is near the city of Bakhmut, which was finally captured by Russia in May 2023 after months of bloody fighting. After the loss of Bakhmut, Ukrainian forces had withdrawn to Chasiv Yar. Ivanivske and Bogdanivka are only a few kilometers away. There are only a few hundred residents left in Chassiv Yar – before the war there were 12,000. The city is regularly shelled by Russian forces.

Hatched: territories occupied by Russia

Zelensky is negotiating in Saudi Arabia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is now appealing for further support. In Saudi Arabia he meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The crown prince is trying to position himself as a possible mediator in the Ukraine war, even as his country works closely with Russia on energy issues.

Ukraine is dependent on Saudi Arabia to advance the peace formula he presented, Zelenskyj wrote on Platform X. A second topic is the return of prisoners of war and deportees. There are also economic questions.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have participated in the exchange of prisoners of war since the start of the Ukraine war.

A lack of ammunition causes setbacks

The supply of weapons and ammunition is slow – one of the main reasons for the Ukrainians’ recent withdrawals. If US aid were to stop, the country would face even more severe setbacks. US President Joe Biden now addressed Congress directly. The need for Ukraine aid is immense, said Biden. “Every single day of inaction has dire consequences for Ukraine.” So far, the $95 billion national security package, which includes aid to Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific, remains in limbo.

In the discussion about sending troops to Ukraine, which was brought into play by French President Emmanuel Macron, Biden took a clear position. Biden has made it clear that the US will not send troops to fight, said National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also called for the aid to be passed quickly. Ukraine lacks ammunition, air defense systems, munitions and long-range artillery, Schumer said. “This deficiency creates asymmetry on the battlefield. Russia can fire at and eliminate Ukrainian targets, but Ukraine is increasingly unable to fire back.”

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