May 27. 2024. 8:49

The Daily

Read the World Today

US urges allies to arm Ukraine for ‘crucial’ spring offensive against Russian invasion force

The United States urged Kyiv’s allies to ensure it had enough arms and ammunition to launch a successful spring offensive against Russia’s invasion force, as heavy fighting continued in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine.

Officials in the two partly occupied provinces and Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg say Russia has already begun a new offensive of its own in eastern Ukraine, where battles have intensified around the towns of Bakhmut and Vuhledar in Donetsk region and Kreminna in Luhansk.

“What Ukraine wants to do at the first possible moment is to establish or create momentum… on the battlefield,” US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said on Tuesday in Brussels, where officials from 54 states attended a meeting of the so-called Ukraine defence contact group.

“We expect to see them conduct an offensive sometime in the spring and because of that we are… working hard to ensure they have the armoured capability, the fires, the sustainment to be effective in creating the effects on the battlefield that they want to create.”

READ MORE

Cold war tensions flare up on Polish border with Kaliningrad


‘I just want them back’: Ukrainian civilians tell of torture and legal limbo in Russian captivity

‘I just want them back’: Ukrainian civilians tell of torture and legal limbo in Russian captivity

Nicola Bulley search: Real detectives vie with amateur sleuths in Lancashire village

Nicola Bulley search: Real detectives vie with amateur sleuths in Lancashire village

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis leaves elderly homeless and penniless

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis leaves elderly homeless and penniless

[ Germany chides allies for delays in delivering tanks to Ukraine ]

[ You cannot blame the West for the war in Ukraine ]

Mr Austin said he had no announcement to make on Ukraine’s request for western warplanes, and focused instead on the need to deliver swiftly the tanks, armoured fighting vehicles, missiles, artillery systems and ammunition that Kyiv’s allies have already pledged.

“All of these donations and joint initiatives flow from our unity and our resolve, but we still have much more to do together, and we must intensify our focus. Ukraine has urgent requirements to help it meet this crucial moment in the course of the war,” he said.

“It’s a monumental task to bring all those systems together and get the troops trained on those platforms.”

Mr Stoltenberg said Kyiv’s allies “need to ensure that Ukraine gets the weapons it needs to be able to retake territory, liberate the lands and win this war and prevail as a sovereign independent nation.

“When it comes to artillery, we need ammunition, we need spare parts, we need maintenance, we need all the logistics to ensure that we are able to sustain these weapon systems,” he added, having noted that Ukraine is using ammunition at a rate “many times higher than our current rate of production”.

“This has become a grinding war of attrition,” he said. “And therefore, it’s also a battle of logistics. And this is a huge effort by allies to actually be able to get in the ammunition, [the] fuel, the spare parts, which are needed.”

Western-supplied anti-tank rockets last year helped Ukraine stop Russian forces outside its two main cities, Kyiv and Kharkiv, and US-made Himars missiles this year allowed Ukraine to strike Russian supply lines deep in occupied territory, but the Kremlin says such deliveries could draw Nato states into the war and will not prevent Moscow’s victory.

“Nato is an organisation that is hostile to us, which confirms its hostility every day and which is doing its best to make its involvement in the conflict over Ukraine as clear as possible,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

[ Russia urges West to abandon ‘delusion’ about helping Ukraine defeat it ]

[ Wartime life in Moscow: fear, loathing and deep denial as Russians uphold the illusion ]

Russia’s military says it is gradually closing in on Bakhmut after months of heavy fighting in the area, but Ukrainian forces insist they still control and will defend the devastated city.

“I want to assure you that no one is planning to leave,” said Volodymyr Nazarenko, deputy commander of the Svoboda battalion of Ukraine’s national guard.

“The city is defended on every street. Every street, every building is a fortress,” he told the Ukrainian service of Radio Liberty.

“And if the enemy somewhere on the outskirts of the city is now fighting active, very dynamic, very intense battles… in general the enemy has not reached the heart of the city.”