UKRAINE: The situation in the eastern frontline city of Bakhmut, which Russian forces have been trying to annex for over six months, is getting “more and more difficult,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.
“The enemy is constantly destroying everything that can be used to protect our positions for fortification and defence,” said Zelenskiy.
The Ukrainian president’s comment came as US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who was in Kyiv for a visit on Monday, cautioned China against arming Russia.
Some of the fiercest fighting has happened in the Donetsk area of Ukraine, which is partly controlled by Russia and its separatist allies. This area is called Bakhmut.
Russian soldiers have recently stepped up their attempts to take the industrial city, and they are making progress. “Practically all roads” into the city were under [Russian] fire control,” according to Denis Pushilin, the separatist head of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic.
President Zelensky discussed the situation in his nightly speech, noting that securing a foothold in Bakhmut and securing its defence were being severely jeopardised by Russia’s renewed assault.
He expressed his gratitude to “everyone holding the area so bravely.”
Also, President Zelensky called for modern combat planes to be sent to protect “the whole territory of our country” from “Russian terror.”
Janet Yellen made a surprise trip to Kyiv on Monday, where she told people about the latest transfer of $1.25 billion (£1 billion) in economic and budget aid to Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden said during his own visit to Kyiv last week that Washington would stand by Ukraine for however long it took to win the war. Yellen reaffirmed that position.
Yellen told CNN that she thought Russia’s economy would get worse over time, even though it hadn’t collapsed yet despite the heavy sanctions put on it by the West.
She also said that if China tried to give Russia these kinds of weapons, it would have “severe” consequences.She also said that Russia’s ability to replace military equipment lost in attacks on Ukraine was “gradually jeopardized.”
“We have been extremely clear that we will not tolerate systematic violations by any country of the sanctions that we have put in place that are intended to deprive Russia of access to military equipment to wage this war,” she further added.
“And we have been very clear with the Chinese government and have made it clear to Chinese firms and financial institutions that the consequences of violating those sanctions would be very severe,” she continued.
Last week, Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, said China was considering providing Moscow with arms and ammunition. China strongly denied the claim.
The meeting between China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, and Russian President Vladimir Putin last week in Moscow was viewed by many as a sign of China’s strong ties with Russia.
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