War in Ukraine, day 721 | An “extremely complex” situation on the front

(Kyiv) The new Ukrainian commander-in-chief Oleksandr Syrsky judged the situation on the battlefield “extremely complex” on Wednesday, after a first trip to the front, with Ukraine lacking men and weapons in the face of the invader Russian.

These difficulties risk getting worse, with the new American aid package, crucial for replenishing the Ukrainian arsenal, being blocked due to divisions in the political class.

Kyiv can nevertheless boast of continuing to make the Russian fleet suffer in the Black Sea, claiming responsibility for the destruction of yet another ship there on Wednesday. On the same day, NATO highlighted the “heavy losses” inflicted on the Russian navy in the Black Sea, seeing it as “a great success” for the Ukrainian forces.

“The Russian occupiers continue to increase their efforts and outnumber” the Ukrainian forces, General Syrsky declared on Telegram, Ukraine struggling to replenish the ranks of its army, two years after the start of the Russian invasion.

“We are doing everything possible to prevent the enemy from advancing on our territory and to hold our positions,” stressed the new commander in chief, acknowledging that his forces were suffering to contain the multiple Russian assaults in the east.

Mr Syrsky was appointed to the post last week, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky calling for “changes” following the failure of Ukraine’s summer 2023 counter-offensive.

For his first visit to the front as commander-in-chief, the general traveled with Defense Minister Roustem Umerov to the areas of Avdiivka and Kupiansk, two of the hottest spots on the Eastern Front.

“Minimize” losses

“We are taking all possible measures to minimize our losses and save the lives of our soldiers,” he assured, affirming that conversely the Russian army “does not count its losses” in Avdiïvka.

According to the Ukrainian army, some 50,000 Russian troops are deployed in the area.

Since October, after Ukraine’s major failed counter-offensive, Russian forces have been carrying out massive assaults and bombings to conquer this heavily destroyed industrial city.

The position of the Ukrainian defenders has deteriorated since January and the city’s mayor, Vitaly Barabach, recently spoke of a “critical” situation in certain neighborhoods, admitting the first street fights.

In the Black Sea, on the other hand, where Ukraine succeeded in 2023 in forcing the powerful Russian fleet to retreat using missiles and maritime drones, Kyiv once again claimed responsibility for the destruction of an enemy ship.

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine together with military intelligence units destroyed a large landing ship “Caesar Kunikov”,” the Ukrainian General Staff said on Telegram.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, declined to comment. Russia very rarely recognizes its losses.

Ukraine’s military intelligence department (GUR) said it used Magura V5 naval drones to strike the boat off the coast of Alupka, causing “critical holes” in it so that the boat “started to sink.”

A mother, a son, a pregnant woman

According to the GUR, it is a vessel that can accommodate 87 crew members and which was deployed during the war against Georgia in 2008 and more recently during Russian operations in Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not communicate on this subject, but assured that it had shot down six Ukrainian drones “over the waters of the Black Sea”.

The Rybar Telegram channel, close to the Russian army and followed by more than a million people, reported the attack, while affirming that “the extent of the damage is unknown”.


Selydove, February 14, 2024

Moscow’s army also continues its strikes on Ukrainian towns near the front. During the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, three people were killed during the bombing that hit a hospital in Selydove (east), according to local authorities.

The victims are a 36-year-old mother, her nine-year-old son and a 38-year-old pregnant woman.

On the issue of American military aid, Ukraine continues to press its allies to accelerate deliveries of arms and ammunition.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr declared himself “grateful” to American senators after the vote on a package of 60 billion dollars for Ukraine.

But the adoption of this aid is blocked by the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, despite a call from American President Joe Biden to “choose America” over Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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