Zelenskyy urges speedy help from allies as Russia pounds Ukraine’s east
Ukraine urged allies to speed up the pace of military help as NATO defence ministers prepared to meet for a second day on Wednesday (15 February) and Russia bombarded the eastern front line in what appeared to be the early salvoes of a new offensive.
Bakhmut’s capture would provide a stepping stone for Russia to advance on two bigger Donetsk cities, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, and give Moscow momentum after months of battlefield setbacks following its invasion last February.
New Russian offensive underway in Ukraine, says NATO
The eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut was facing heavy artillery fire as the NATO chief backed reports from local officials that a major new Russian offensive had begun, days before the first anniversary of Moscow’s invasion.
“That is why speed is of the essence,” he said in an evening video address on Tuesday.
“Ukraine has urgent requirements to help it meet this crucial moment in the course of the war. We believe there’ll be a window of opportunity for them to exercise initiative,” Austin told the meeting of defence ministers on Tuesday.
More military aid?
Promised battle tanks last month, Ukraine is also desperate for fighter jets and longer-range missiles to help turn the tide against Moscow’s far superior firepower.