Russian Forces Keep up Pressure as Ukraine Anniversary Nears

WORLD

Russian forces are tying Ukrainian troops. An offensive in the eastern Donbass region. As Moscow mobilizes more combat forces. There for an expected offensive in the coming weeks, Ukrainian officials said Monday.

The Ukrainian president’s office said heavy fighting had been going on for weeks around.

The city of Bakhmut and the nearby towns of Soledar and Vuledar.

They are located in the Donetsk region. Which forms the Donbass, an industrial area bordering. Russia with the neighboring Luhansk region.

“The battle for the region is heating up.” Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kirilenko said in televised remarks, adding. That “the Russians are throwing new units into the war. And exterminating our towns and villages.”

In Luhansk, Governor Serhii Haidai said shelling there had decreased. Because “the Russians are stockpiling ammunition for a large-scale offensive.”

Military analysts say the Kremlin’s forces are probing Ukraine’s defenses for weak points. Or could create a distraction as it prepares for a major push through southern Ukraine.

Ukraine is planning a possible Russian offensive in the east. And south, Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Vadim Skibitsky said. He predicted that Russia would launch an attack on the Donbass. And might also launch an attack on the Zaporizhia region.

He did not say when the offensive could begin but noted that. It would take several more months for the Russian military to finish training new units.

Skibitsky added that Russia plans to mobilize. Another 300,000-500,000 besides to the 300,000 population in the fall.

David Arakhamia, who leads Zelensky’s Servant of the People party in parliament. Said on Sunday that Ukraine was preparing for a Russian attack. While planning a counterattack and recapture of its occupied territory.

Arakhamia, noting that “times and circumstances call for strengthening. And restructuring,” also announced that Ukraine’s Defense Minister. Oleksiy Rezhnikov, would be transferred to another government post. And replaced by the head of military intelligence, Kirill Budanov. But Arakhamia reversed course on Monday and said there would be no shake-up this week.

People’s Party lawmaker Mariana Bezuhla said officials decided to postpone the reshuffle. After analyzing “risks for the system as a whole” ahead of meetings with NATO allies next week.

One of Reznikov’s deputies recently lost his job amid Zelensky’s crackdown on corruption. Reznikov said over the weekend that he was ready to resign if Zelensky decided it was best.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is hungry for success on some battlefields. Particularly securing annexed territory in eastern Ukraine. On the anniversary of his February 24 invasion.

Russian forces made gains in the first few months of the war. Although they failed to achieve the main aim. And were then driven back from large areas by Ukrainian counter-offensives.

Western military aid is essential for Kiev to counter a much larger military force.

Norway’s government aims to donate 75 billion kroner ($7.3 billion) to Ukraine in a multi-year aid package. Making the oil-rich Scandinavian country one of the world’s top donors.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Storr said on Monday. The money would be used for a five-year military. And civilian aid package if parliament approves.

Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand tweeted late Sunday. That the first German-made Leopard tanks Canada is donating to Ukraine had arrived in Poland. It is part of a broader tank commitment by Ukraine’s Western allies to defeat Russia.

Training of the Ukrainian military on how to use tanks was to begin “soon,” Anand said. As allies raced to prepare Ukrainian forces ahead of the impending offensive.

At least one civilian was killed and 10 wounded by Russian shelling in the past 24 hours. The Ukrainian president’s office said Monday.

Five of them were wounded during the shelling in the city of Kharkiv. Where Russian shells hit residential buildings and a university, the president’s office said.

The Russians again fired on targets across. The Dnieper River from the Russian-held Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. Damaging residential buildings and power lines in Nikopol and Marhanet, Ukrainian authorities said.

Russian forces seized Zaporizhia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, early in the war. And regular shelling of the area became a major security concern.

The UN nuclear chief will visit Moscow this week to discuss security in Zaporizhia.

International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Rafael Grossi aims to “continue. His consultation with the aim of agreeing and implementing a nuclear safety. And security protection zone” around the plant, IAEA spokesman Friedrich Dahl said.

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