Ukraine faces ‘extremely difficult’ frontline battles, says Zelensky

KYIV   -   Ukrai­nian troops, reeling from the loss of a key town, now face “extremely dif­ficult” conditions all along the frontline with Russia because of delayed foreign aid, President Volodymyr Zelensky said. A height­ened Russian offensive in eastern and southern Ukraine saw them capture the key town of Avdiivka last week in a major boost ahead of the second an­niversary of the February 2022 invasion. The Ukrai­nian military also says it is critically short of ammuni­tion and shells, worsened by the holdup of a $60 bil­lion US aid package. “The situation is extremely dif­ficult in several parts of the front line, where Russian troops have concentrated maximum reserves,” Zel­ensky said Monday after visiting frontline troops in the Kharkiv region. Rus­sian troops “are taking advantage of the delays in helping Ukraine,” Zel­ensky added, highlight­ing shortages of artillery, frontline air defence and longer-range weapons. In the meanwhile, Ukraine said Tuesday it was fight­ing off dozens of attacks, after President Volody­myr Zelensky said Rus­sian forces were exploit­ing delays in Western military aid and called the situation “extremely dif­ficult”. A heightened Rus­sian offensive in eastern and southern Ukraine saw them capture the key town of Avdiivka last week in a boost ahead of the second anniversary of the Febru­ary 2022 invasion.

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