May 22, 2024

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The Ukrainian army commander says that Russia is making significant “gains” in the east of the country

The Ukrainian army commander says that Russia is making significant “gains” in the east of the country
  • Written by Thomas Mackintosh
  • BBC News

Comment on the photo, General Oleksandr Sersky (left) was appointed commander of the Ukrainian army by President Zelenskyy last year.

The Ukrainian army commander warned that the situation on the battlefield in the east of the country has “deteriorated significantly” in recent days.

Fierce battles are taking place in several villages in the eastern Donbass region.

Gen. Oleksandr Sirsky said Russia was taking advantage of the warm weather — making the terrain more accessible for its tanks — and making tactical gains.

This comes as Germany said it would give Ukraine an additional Patriot missile defense system to repel air attacks.

In his update on social media on Saturday, General Sirsky explained that the situation on the Eastern Front had deteriorated as Russia intensified its armored attacks.

He added that battles broke out to control the village of Bohdanivka, located west of the destroyed city of Bakhmut.

The settlement is located a few kilometers northeast of the town of Chasiv Yar, a Kiev-controlled stronghold that Russia is trying to reach after seizing the town of Avdiivka last February to the south.

Ukrainian officials say a slowdown in military aid from the West – especially the United States – has left it more vulnerable to air attacks and vastly outmatched on the battlefield.

General Sersky said that without new aid and advanced weapons, Kiev would not be able to “seize the strategic initiative” from numerically superior Russian forces.

Separately, Germany pledged, on Saturday, to provide Ukraine with an additional air defense system. Ukraine has made increasingly desperate calls for air defense missiles in recent weeks.

On Friday, Russian strikes completely destroyed a major power station near Kiev. The Trebylia power plant is the largest electricity provider in three regions, including Kiev, officials said.

In response, Berlin agreed to give Kiev an additional Patriot missile system. It is capable of intercepting the most advanced Russian munitions, including Kinzhal hypersonic missiles.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Russian strikes on Ukrainian cities and energy infrastructure had caused untold suffering.

President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Germany for the decision and described it as a “genuine demonstration of support for Ukraine.”

Since President Vladimir Putin won the presidential elections last month, Moscow has intensified its air attacks on Ukraine.

In recent days, Russia has launched three massive air strikes on its energy system, bombing power plants and substations.

Elsewhere, Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) said it had foiled an assassination attempt on the governor of the Kherson region, Oleksandr Prokudin. Officials said two men tried to attack Prokudin's car with a Russian-made drone.

“This was not the first attempt, and perhaps not the last,” Prokudin said in a message posted on the Telegram app.