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Russia Intensifies Front Line Offensive Amid Western Military Aid to Ukraine

Relentless Russian attacks on Ukrainian positions defending the strategically important eastern town of Chasiv Yar are disrupting troop rotations and supply deliveries, soldiers in the area report.

Analysts say Russian troops are attempting to leverage their numerical and weaponry advantages before Ukrainian forces are bolstered by new Western military aid, which is already beginning to arrive at the front line.

The Kremlin’s military has also been targeting civilian areas, using powerful glide bombs that devastate buildings and create massive craters. Their months-long campaign to cripple Ukraine’s electricity supply aims to erode public morale and disrupt Ukraine’s growing arms industry.

In response to these civilian attacks, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants on Tuesday for former Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and military chief of staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov, accusing them of war crimes. Judges stated there is evidence they “intentionally caused great suffering or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health” of Ukrainian civilians.

Ukrainian soldiers defending the eastern Donetsk region face continuous Russian ground assaults and aerial bombardments, offering little respite after more than two years of conflict.

“We work, you could say, without rest,” said a platoon commander who identified himself only by his first name, Oleksandr, in accordance with his brigade’s rules.

“So no two days are alike. You always need to be ready to work day and night,” he told The Associated Press on Monday.

Oleksandr’s platoon, part of Ukraine’s 43rd Artillery Brigade, quickly moves into positions to fire their Soviet-era Pion self-propelled howitzer at Russian targets before being countered.

Holding Chasiv Yar is critical. The town, strategically significant and elevated but now largely in ruins, lies west of Bakhmut, which Russia captured last year after a 10-month battle.

Ukraine is racing to stabilize parts of the roughly 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) front line after receiving much-needed military assistance from the United States in April. A six-month delay in U.S. aid had forced Ukraine’s military into a defensive stance.

Members of the artillery brigade in Chasiv Yar reported the arrival of American ammunition supplies.

The U.S. is expected to announce an additional $150 million in urgently needed munitions for Ukraine this week, while Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced Tuesday that the first shipment of ammunition under a Czech initiative has been delivered to Ukraine.

Also Read: Trump Considers Halting US Military Aid to Ukraine, Urges Peace Talks with Moscow

In a separate development, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke by phone with Russian Minister of Defense Andrei Belousov. Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder stated that Austin emphasized the importance of maintaining communication lines during the conflict. This call, initiated by Austin, was the first since his conversation with then-minister Shoigu on March 15, 2023. Russian officials did not immediately report the call.

The Czech Republic aims to procure at least 800,000 artillery shells from non-EU countries for Ukraine, as the war has depleted stockpiles in Europe, the U.S., and Russia.

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, noted that it will take time for the effects of the new Western weaponry to impact the front line. Meanwhile, it stated, “Russian forces are attempting to make tactically and operationally significant gains” before this aid arrives.

Elsewhere, the Kremlin’s forces continued their attacks on civilian infrastructure, with three aerial strikes in the northeastern Kharkiv region on Tuesday, though no injuries were reported.

Russia has been bombarding Kharkiv in recent months, likely to draw Ukrainian forces away from defending Donetsk and to create a buffer zone against cross-border Ukrainian attacks. In the past 24 hours, Russian forces launched 42 glide bombs against the Kharkiv region, authorities said Tuesday.

In other news, the Russian Defense Ministry and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the exchange of 90 war prisoners from each side, mediated by the United Arab Emirates. This swap was the fifth mediated by the UAE this year.

The UAE stated that the exchange resulted from leveraging its unique ties and partnership with both sides, acting as a reliable mediator.

Zelenskyy said the swap included troops from various branches of Ukraine’s military and border guard, including those who fought in Mariupol, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and other regions.

Additionally, Moscow retaliated against the EU’s decision to suspend broadcasting activities of several Russian media outlets by banning the broadcasts of 81 European media outlets.

“The Russian side has repeatedly warned that politically motivated repressions against Russian journalists and unfounded bans of the Russian media in the EU won’t go unanswered,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

John Collins
John Collins
John is an esteemed journalist and author renowned for their incisive reporting and deep insights into global affairs. As a prominent contributor to City Telegraph, John brings over 5 years of experience covering diverse geopolitical landscapes, from the corridors of power in major capitals to the frontlines of conflict zones.

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