Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar reported that, over the past week, Ukrainian forces have advanced gradually on the southern flank of Bakhmut and in the Berdyansk (western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhzhia regional border area) and Melitopol (western Zaporizhzhia Region) directions.
US senators and former soldiers Mark Kelly and Tammy Duckworth called for continued critical military support for Ukraine in its full-scale war against Russia in a major column in the .
"For the past 17 months, we have advised the Biden administration, urging it to continually assess and reassess the shifting realities on the front line to understand what Ukraine needs and then deliver it quickly. We must remain committed to keeping Ukraine supplied with the missiles, artillery shells and other munitions that at this stage in the conflict can be the difference between a commander’s being able to approve an attack or not. And, we have to do that while analyzing where new capabilities, like modern fighter jets, can give Ukraine the edge,” they write.
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told CNN that the Ukrainian offensive is behind schedule but is going according to plan. He also said it is a mistake to think that “every counteroffensive should be quick.” He listed several reasons why the counteroffensive might be slower than expected: ammunition, artillery shells and artillery systems. “It’s a question of air defense. It’s a question that we have a very long battlefield line also. And we have against us a big quantity of the enemy. So, it’s war – it’s not a computer game,” Reznikov said.
Ukraine has taken back about half of the land that Russia initially seized in the invasion, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
Russia imported more than $100 million worth of drones from China in 2023, which is 30 times more than Ukraine, according to a Politico investigation. In addition, Russian imports of Chinese ceramics, a component used in body armor, increased by 69 percent, more than $225 million.
Spain dispatched a further package of military aid to Ukraine including 4 Leopard 2A4s (in addition to 6 Leopard 2s already delivered); 10 M-113 armored vehicles; 10 trucks for the Navy; a multipurpose armored vehicle; 3 civil ambulances; a BMR armored ambulance; and an armored civilian ambulance.
Agreement has been reached between Poland and Germany regarding the maintenance of German-made tanks. “We welcome the fact that now Ukraine’s Leopard 2A4 tanks can be also repaired in Poland,” Germany’s Defense Ministry said.
The Ukrainian military killed Russian Colonel Yevgeny Vashunin, who commanded the Leningrad Regiment, according to a Russian media outlet.
Russia is putting a “renewed emphasis on military induction for children,” Britain’s Defence Ministry said.
According to the morning report of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), Russian forces undertook 72 airstrikes and 50 MLRS rocket assaults against Ukrainian settlements and positions; Ukraine undertook 8 air strikes.
According to the General Staff, Russia shelled some 120 Ukrainian population settlements with artillery and/or mortar fire.
Operational Aspects in Bakhmut
A total of 35 square kilometers of land area has been “liberated from Russian invaders in the Bakhmut direction”, including four in the last week, according to Malyar on Telegram.
Pro-Russian milbloggers said there were “fierce ongoing battles near Klishchiivka”.
Operational Aspects in Donetsk, Crimea and other areas
The Russian military has fired cluster munitions on a local reservoir and park in the city of Kostiantynivka in the Donetsk region, killing a child and injuring at least six other civilians, according toPavlo Kyrylenko, head of Donetsk Region Military Administration, on .
Pro-Russian milbloggers commented on the strikes against Crimean positions: “The intensification of attacks on the Crimea with various types of weapons, together with the intensified counter-battery struggle along the front in the Zaporizhzhia direction, confirms the preparation for a new phase of the offensive. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are implementing last year’s scenario, trying to knock out as many artillery and military supply points in the deep rear as possible… The goal is extremely simple – to create favorable conditions for breaking through the defense.”
Operational Aspects on Boundary of the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions and in Western Zaporizhzhia
Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted limited ground attacks in the western Donetsk region south of Velyka Novosilka and advanced south of Orikhiv in the western Zaporizhzhia region, according to ISW.
“Over the past week, following the offensive actions, the de-occupied area in the south has expanded by 12.7 square kilometers. In general, a total of 192.1 square kilometers was liberated in the south,” Malyar said.
Ukrainian forces “succeeded and advanced into the enemy’s depths at a distance of 350 meters to 1.4 kilometers” in the western Zaporizhzhia region, according to spokespersons for Ukraine’s southern forces. They also noted “that fierce fighting for Staromaiorske is ongoing.
Pro-Russian milbloggers said Russian forces “tried to recapture the lost positions north of Pryyutne from the AFU with no success.”
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