The eastern cities of Ukraine fear the advance of Russian troops

The situation in southern Ukraine and the eastern Kharkiv region will worsen with Russia’s troop relocation from Avdiivka, says Maksim Zhorin, deputy commander of the Ukrainian army’s 3rd Assault Brigade. «Very difficult battles await us. The Russians were preparing for this all the time. They have stored prepared forces, reserves, weapons and equipment,” Zhorin said on Wednesday.

It was the 3rd Brigade, among other forces, that helped the Ukrainian garrison withdraw from the besieged city when it was finally overwhelmed the Russian force, much larger and better armed. Some of these forces are now continuing the fight near Avdiivka, where the Russians will try to advance “as long as they have enough strength and depending on how many of them survive,” Zhorin said. In a conversation with his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Vladimir Putin emphasized that the success there had to be “expanded”.

The Russians are also trying to regain control of the lost territories due to the Ukrainian counteroffensive. This would have great psychological significance, said Ukrainian military intelligence representative Vadim Skibitski yesterday. “Before the elections (presidential elections on March 15), they want to at least reach the administrative borders of the Luhansk region. Other important points are Kupyansk, Lyman and Avdiivka,” he said. Russia will increase its missile attacks on Ukrainian territory as there are currently 48 “Iskander” systems spread along the border between the two countries. Another 30,000 soldiers are stationed in three neighboring regions because Russia “fears that Ukraine itself could act more actively in Russia.”

At the same time, Ukraine continues to use the limited number of its long-range drones However, it is prohibited to use Western-supplied weapons for attacks inside Russia, including destroying weapons routinely used to attack Ukraine. Russia is unlikely to achieve its goals in Ukraine in 2024, says Kirilo Budanov, head of military intelligence. However, in an interview with The Washington Post, he admitted that the Ukrainian armed forces were in a difficult situation. According to Ukrainian military intelligence, around 470,000 Russians are currently fighting in Ukraine, supported by aviation and its fleet. Ukraine officially has more military personnel, but not all of them take part in combat and not all of them are adequately equipped.

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The lack of sufficient ammunition, which is increasing due to political stagnation in the United States and the slower-than-expected growth of military production in the EU is a key factor affecting the situation on the battlefield. According to Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba, Ukraine would not have lost Avdiyivka if it had “received all the artillery ammunition necessary for its defense.” “While the decision (to release ammunition and weapons shipments to Ukraine) is still pending, our soldiers are sacrificing their lives at the front to maintain defense against the overwhelming Russian forces,” he stressed in a recent interview with CNN.

Ukrainian officials and some analysts downplayed Avdiivka’s loss The conquest of Russia took ten years, including almost two years of the current offensive on a large scale. They focused on the timely withdrawal of large numbers of Ukrainian forces and, while acknowledging that a number of warriors had been captured, also disputed reports in the New York Times that up to 1,000 may have been captured there.

Vladimir Putin emphasized in his conversation with Shoigu that Russia “He always treated prisoners well.”. At the same time, Ukrainian prisoners of war were executed by Russia in several cases, such as the six soldiers seen in the video circulating on Russian social networks after the capture of Avdiivka. Their Ukrainian unit claims they were seriously injured and could not be evacuated in the attacks. Russia was reportedly prepared to treat her well, but shot her shortly after her capture. Meanwhile, Ukraine is trying to eliminate one of the key advantages that allowed Russia to succeed at Avdiivka and prevent further Ukrainian advances sooner. Seven Russian fighter jets were shot down.

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