Ukraine says troops stand firm against Russian attack on key Donbas city

Ukraine said its troops fended off a heavy Russian offensive in the eastern Donbass under heavy artillery fire, but pleaded with the West for weapons to help turn the tide in Kyiv.

Ukraine has driven Russian troops back from the highway, enabling troops in Kyiv to supply the key city of Sivye Donetsk, the governor of the Luhansk region, which makes up half of the Donbass, said on Sunday. .

Russia is concentrating on occupying West Vie Donetsk, the last big city in Luhansk still under Ukrainian control, as part of an offensive in Donbass more than three months after President Vladimir Putin’s invasion a part of.

The southern port city of Mariupol is suffering the worst damage in the war since a Russian siege largely destroyed it.

However, despite what Ukrainian forces describe as a tactical retreat under heavy artillery fire, Russia’s advance has slowed.

Heyday told Ukrainian television that Russian troops had already surrounded two-thirds of Sivie Donetsk in an attempt to encircle it, but had made no further progress so far, only in a hotel on its outskirts, where Ukrainian troops There were heavy casualties.

“They were hiding there, but they couldn’t move forward,” he said.

Sieve of Sivye Donetsk after Russian troops were forced to withdraw from central Ukraine and driven back – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says his troops outnumbered 20 by 20 to 1 People – marked a shift in Moscow’s strategy to overwhelm smaller resistance forces at a time. Kharkov border area north of the Donbass.

In a late-night speech on Saturday, Zelensky said the “situation is very complicated” in the region and that “the Russian army is trying to get at least some results for itself”. The Ukrainian president described the conditions as “indescribably difficult”.

Ukraine still believes it can retake the region once it gets more arms supplies from the West and can beat Russia in the long-range artillery game.

“Every day we are closing in on the time when our military will outperform the occupiers in technology and firepower,” Zelensky said, adding that he expected “good news” from Western supplies next week.

Ukraine said it had received Danish-made Harpoon anti-ship missiles and U.S. howitzers, but was awaiting approval for multiple rocket launchers that would allow Kyiv to further strike Russian supply lines.

Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted: “It’s hard to fight back when you’re attacked 70km away and there’s nothing to fight back.”

Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine have collapsed after Putin was more eager to seize more territory and annex areas his forces had already occupied in the southeast.

In an 80-minute phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Schultz on Saturday, Putin blamed Ukraine for the breakdown of the talks and said Russia was open to more talks.

But Macron and Scholz told Putin that a negotiated end to the war must respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Zelensky told Dutch television that Ukraine wants to retake territory lost since the invasion, including most of Kherson and Zaporozhye in the south and parts of the Donbass, before resuming talks.

“I don’t think we can fully return all our territories by military means,” he said, including the Crimean peninsula and separatist-held areas of Donbas that Russia occupied in 2014. “If we decide to go this route, we will lose hundreds of thousands of people.”

The capture of Luhansk, which makes up half of the Donbass, and the entirety of neighboring Donetsk, would mark a propaganda coup for Putin, who has characterized the war as an attempt to “liberate” the Russian-speakers there.

A series of humiliating battlefield defeats forced Russia to scale back its ambitions, and Russia changed most of its forces in the region.

Analysts at the Washington Institute for War Institute said any Russian victory in Luhansk could be costly.

“Putin is now throwing people and ammunition at the remaining major population centres [ . . . ] As if taking it would win the war for the Kremlin. He was wrong,” they wrote.

They added that the brutal war of attrition has greatly reduced Russian personnel and firepower, “regardless of which side controls the city, Russia’s offensive at both the operational and strategic levels could peak, giving Ukraine a chance to start fighting again – equal The counteroffensive pushes back the Russian army.”

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