Ukraine’s army chief says eastern front under intense Russian assault

 Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks on the phone with Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 13. Reuters-Yonhap

Ukraine’s army chief said on Saturday the situation on the eastern front had worsened in recent days as Russia has intensified its armored assaults and battles rage for control of a village west of the devastated city of Bakhmut.The statement by Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi more than two years since Russia’s invasion reflected the grim mood in Kyiv as vital U.S. military aid that Kyiv expected to receive months ago remains stuck in Congress.Syrskyi said he travelled to the area to stabilize the front as Russian assault groups using tanks and armored personnel carriers took advantage of dry, warm weather that has made it easier to maneuver.”The situation on the eastern front in recent days has grown considerably more tense. This is linked primarily to the significant activisation of offensive action by the enemy after the presidential elections in Russia,” he wrote on the Telegram app.A spokesman for the forces battling on the eastern section of the front said in remarks on Ukrainian television that Russia’s army was attacking using all types of weapons, from artillery to tanks, drones and guided aerial bombs.

With superior manpower and equipment, Russia was fighting along the entire front, the spokesman, Nazar Voloshyn, said, adding: “The enemy is trying to exhaust the Ukrainian Army.”Since President Vladimir Putin won a new term in a stage-managed mid-March election, Russia has stepped up its attacks on Ukraine and unleashed three massive aerial strikes on its energy system, pounding power plants and substations.The slowdown in military assistance from the West has left Ukraine more exposed to aerial attacks and heavily outgunned on the battlefield. Kyiv has made increasingly desperate appeals for supplies of air defense missiles in recent weeks.Moscow’s forces, Syrskyi said, were taking significant losses during their attacks in the east, but were also making tactical gains.Social media channels reported the fall of Ukraine’s eastern village of Bohdanivka to the west of the occupied city of Bakhmut, prompting Kyiv’s defense ministry to deny them.But it acknowledged fierce fighting in the area and said Russian assault groups had reached the village’s northern outskirts overnight. “Bohdanivka is now under the control of the defense forces,” it said.The settlement lies a few kilometers northeast of the town of Chasiv Yar, a Kyiv-controlled stronghold 온라인카지노 that Russia has been trying to reach after seizing the town of Avdiivka in February to the south.

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