Friday, December 16, 2022

As a new Russian offensive is expected, the West extends more assistance to Ukraine

West extends more help to Ukraine as new Russian offensive expected

 KYIV: While Kyiv's defense minister predicted a new Russian offensive, Western allies increased their support for Ukraine with additional funding, sanctions against Moscow, and increased military training.

As Russia's invasion enters its tenth month, leaders of the European Union agreed on Thursday to hit Moscow with a ninth round of sanctions and provide 18 billion euros in financing for Ukraine next year. The actions assign almost 200 additional individuals and bar interest in Russia's mining industry, among different advances.

Following meetings in Brussels between the 27 national leaders of the EU, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated, "Our joint determination to support Ukraine politically, financially, militarily, and in the humanitarian area for as long as necessary remains unbroken."

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in a "special military operation," claiming it needed to protect Russian speakers from Ukrainian nationalists, tens of thousands of people have been killed, millions more have been displaced, and cities have been reduced to rubble. It's referred to as an unprovoked war of aggression by Ukraine and its allies.

The US military made the announcement in Washington that it will expand Ukrainian military personnel's training in Germany. In addition to the more than 15,000 Ukrainians trained by the United States and its allies since April, 500 troops will be trained monthly beginning in January.

In addition, the program teaches Ukrainians how to operate specialized Western military equipment that costs billions of dollars and is provided by the United States and its NATO allies.

The instruction, according to Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, will focus on joint maneuver and combined arms operations, which refer to attacking an adversary with multiple capabilities simultaneously.

In remarks that were published in the Guardian on Thursday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov stated that having its troops trained by the West could give his country an advantage over Russia.

Ukraine has repeatedly asked its allies to send more air defenses to protect it from heavy Russian missile bombardment, including of its energy infrastructure, according to the Kremlin.

Since October, Russia has launched a barrage of missiles at Ukraine's energy infrastructure, disrupting power supplies and rendering people without heat during the frigid winter.

Earlier this week, Reuters reported that the United States is finalizing plans to provide Ukraine with the most advanced and potentially training-intensive Patriot missile defense system.

The Kremlin stated that the United States was "deeper and deeper into the conflict in the post-Soviet republic" and that Patriot systems would be legitimate targets. Russia's foreign ministry stated on Thursday that this statement applied to all Western weapons supplied to Ukraine.

Moscow's new offensive Reznikov said that there was more and more evidence that Russia, which had lost a lot of battles, was planning a big new offensive. He suggested that half of the 300,000 Russian troops conscripted in October to support the Ukraine war would have finished their training in February.

"The second part of the mobilization, about 150,000, takes at least three months to prepare. This indicates that, like last year, they are attempting to launch the subsequent wave of the offensive in February. Reznikov disclosed this to the Guardian.

A Christmas truce has been ruled out by both sides, and there are currently no talks to end the largest conflict in Europe since World War II.

The Economist reported on Thursday that the assessment was made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, General Valery Zaluzhniy, and General Oleksandr Syrskiy in recent interviews. The report said that Moscow's new offensive could begin in January but is more likely to begin in the spring.

The magazine cited officials as saying that Russia could make a second attempt to capture Kyiv's capital, which it failed to do early in the invasion, and that the push could be launched from the eastern Donbass, the south, or neighboring Belarus.

Ukraine's military may be better prepared to deal with any intensification of fighting in the coming months if Washington accelerates its training of its forces.

According to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president's office, Russian shelling killed two people in the center of Kherson, the southern city that Ukraine liberated last month. According to officials, the city's electricity was also cut off by the shelling.

Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address that Russian forces were continuing what he called a brutal large-scale offensive in the eastern Donbas region and that they had shelled Kherson more than 16 times on Thursday alone.

Ukraine's tactical General Staff said Russia's fundamental spotlight stayed on the eastern urban communities of Bakhmut and Avdiivka, yet that getting a more grounded traction in the southern district of Zaporizhzhia was likewise trying.

The accounts from the battlefield were not immediately verified by Reuters.

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