Slovakia's army chief of general staff has visited the front line in southern Ukraine, in a rare official visit from a high-ranking NATO officer, Ukrainian military sources said Thursday, August 17.

The Ukrainian army's general staff said General Daniel Zmeko met with the Tavria operational-strategic group serving on the front to the south of Zaporizhzhia.

Zmeko said in a Facebook post that the Ukrainians had thanked Slovakia for providing "material and technical assistance" to Kyiv.

Ukrainian military photographs showed Zmeko talking with troops outside an arms hangar.

Ukrainian forces have since early June been engaged in a counter-offensive against well-embedded Russian troops to claw back territory, but gains have to date been modest.

Kyiv has been urging Western states to provide it with more weapons -- notably combat planes and long-range missiles.

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