UKRAINE: Ukraine’s departing defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, has said that the nation is expecting a fresh Russian offensive later this month. Speaking at a news conference, Reznikov said that not all Western weapons would have arrived by then, but Ukraine had adequate reserves to repel Russian soldiers.
Troops were engaged in severe combat in Bakhmut, Vuhledar, and Lyman, President Volodymyr Zelensky said. Reznikov’s remarks were made a few hours before it was revealed that he was to be replaced as defence minister. The reshuffle occurs as the defence ministry is beset by a slew of corruption scandals.
Reznikov has refuted media accusations that some defence officials are accused of embezzling public cash for the purchase of food for the army.
On Sunday, Ukrainian legislator David Arakhamia made the announcement, claiming that “war dictates personnel policies.” Reznikov, a well-known figure in Ukraine’s pursuit of Western arms, will now hold the position of minister for strategic industries.
As part of a comprehensive anti-corruption campaign across his government, President Zelensky has already dismissed a number of senior officials.
In a previous news conference, Reznikov stated that Russian resources were not all ready to launch an offensive, but they might still do so as a symbolic gesture, taking into account the one-year anniversary of Moscow’s full-scale invasion.
He claimed that in addition to starting offensives in the south of Ukraine, Russia was anticipated to prioritise capturing the entirety of the eastern Donbas. Earlier this month, Reznikov made similar remarks on French TV.
The defense minister also stated that starting on Monday, troops would begin training with Leopard tanks built in Germany. According to Reznikov, Ukraine has acquired new long-range missiles with a range of 90 miles (150 km), but they will not be used against Russian territory—only against units of Russia in annexed areas of Ukraine.
Reznikov declared, “I am sure that we will win this battel but without the delivery of Western fighter jets, it will cost us more lives.” Russia has gained ground recently near the Bakhmut region despite the flow of Western weapons into Ukraine as Russia’s army continues to send additional soldiers into battle.
The Russian paramilitary mercenary organisation Wagner has been in charge of the majority of the combat in the area. Yevgeny Prigozhin, its head, claimed that severe street skirmishes were taking place in several parts of the city and that Ukraine’s armed forces were “fighting to the last.”
The fight to retake Bakhmut from Russian soldiers has lasted for months, making it the most protracted conflict since Russia invaded Ukraine almost a year ago.
Taking the territory is crucial to Russia because Moscow wants to dominate the whole Donbas region. Additionally, it would represent a turnaround in Russia’s fortunes after it recently lost ground in Ukraine.
President Zelensky stated, “Things are really terrible in the Donetsk region—ferocious warfare. We have no choice except to defend ourselves and win.” As per the UK’s Ministry of Defense, Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut are becoming more and more isolated as the Russians keep making incremental gains in their effort to encircle the town.
It further mentioned that there was probably direct fire threatening the two main highways leading into Bakhmut. According to local authorities, strikes on civilian facilities in the city of Kharkiv in the region’s northeast resulted in five casualties.
Regional commander Pavlo Kyrylenko said that five other people were hurt in the Donetsk area as a result of rocket assaults.
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