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Zelenskiy Urges for Faster Military Assistance as Russia Bombards Ukraine’s East

Ukraine says it needs fighter jets and long-range missiles to counter the Russian attack and retake lost territory

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UKRAINE/ RUSSIA: Ukraine pleaded with allies to speed up the pace of military assistance as NATO defence ministers prepared to meet for a second day on Wednesday, and Russia shelled the eastern frontline in what appeared to be the initial salvos of a fresh offensive. 

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the Ukrainians had fled the Luhansk region after Russian attacks. Still, it gave no other information, and we could not independently verify the report from the battlefield.

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“During the offensive … the Ukrainian troops randomly retreated to a distance of up to 3 km (1.9 miles) from the previously occupied lines,” the ministry wrote on the Telegram app.

“Even the more fortified second line of defence of the enemy could not hold the breakthrough of the Russian military,” the statement continued.

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Over a large part of southern and eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin has recently stepped up its attacks, and a major new attack has been widely expected.

The village of Bakhmut in the Donetsk province, which is close to Luhansk, has been the focus of most of Russia’s efforts.

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In its morning statement on Wednesday, the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff did not mention any serious reverses in Luhansk.

According to the report, more than 20 settlements, including Bakhmut and Vuhledar, a town 150 kilometres (90 miles) southwest of Bakhmut, were allegedly the targets of attacks that Ukrainian soldiers foiled.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, said on Tuesday that Russia was rushing to accomplish as much as it could with its most recent push before Ukraine and its allies gathered strength.

“That is why speed is of the essence,” he added, as NATO defence chiefs gathered in Brussels for two days of talks that will continue on Wednesday. “Speed is everything—adopting decisions, carrying out decisions, shipping supplies, training. Speed saves people’s lives,” he further continued.

Bakhmut’s capture would give Russia momentum after months of setbacks ahead of the invasion’s first anniversary on February 24. Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, two larger cities in Donetsk, would be next.

In his evening address on Tuesday, Zelenskiy said, “The situation on the front line, especially in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, remains very difficult. The battles are literally for every foot of Ukrainian land.” 

Fighting was going on “around every single house,” said Oleh Zhdanov, a military analyst from Ukraine.

Ukraine needs fighter jets and long-range missiles to fight back against the Russian attack and regain territory it has lost because it is using up weapons faster than the West can make them.

In case Russia goes on the offensive, the US and NATO have promised that help from the West will not change.

Russia controls large portions of the southern Ukrainian provinces of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, including the nuclear power plant there, practically all of Luhansk, and more than half of Donetsk.

Russia said last year that it had annexed the four areas, a move deemed unlawful by most UN member states. A senior lawmaker told RIA Novosti that the upper chamber of the Russian parliament would hold a special meeting on February 22 to focus on passing laws for the incorporation of four regions into the Russian Federation.

In camps in Crimea and Russia, the main objective of which looked to be political re-education, at least 6,000 Ukrainian children was being held by Russia, according to a U.S.-backed assessment released on Tuesday.

The Russian Embassy in Washington said that children who had to leave their homes in Ukraine because of the bombing were welcome in Russia.

Also Read: Ukraine Expects New Offensive as Moscow Strengthens Winter Assault

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