The Ukrainian forces said that they are advancing on the fronts of Bakhmut to the east and Zaporizhia to the south, despite Moscow’s denial of any change in its positions in Zaporizhia, while the Kremlin held Washington responsible for any repercussions of the use of depleted uranium in the battles of Ukraine.
For its part, the Ukrainian General Staff said – today, Thursday – that its forces had made progress on the Zaporizhia front in the Robotino-Novobrokopivka axes, and that they were entrenched in the areas they managed to recover.
A spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pavlo Kovalchuk, said that the Ukrainian forces continue to carry out offensive operations in the axes of Bakhmut in Donetsk Province (east), and Melitopol in Zaporizhia Province, adding that the Russian side is incurring heavy losses in personnel and military equipment, he said.
The Ukrainian army also spoke about Russian attempts to attack the axes of Liman, Avdiivka and Bakhmut, Donetsk, and said that it had made progress towards the southern side of the city of Bakhmut.
In this regard, the Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, said today, Thursday, that Ukraine is making progress in the counterattack that it launched last June, to recover the lands seized by Moscow, although it is slow because of the Russian fortifications and minefields. .
“The Ukrainians are gradually gaining territory,” Stoltenberg told the European Parliament. “They have managed to break through the defensive lines of the Russian forces, and they are moving forward.”
Noting how difficult it is for Ukrainian forces, the Secretary-General said, “Nobody said it would be easy.. At no time in history have we seen more mines on a battlefield than we see in Ukraine today. So it’s obviously going to be very difficult.”
But he added that the Ukrainians are making progress and regaining hundreds of meters every day, and “whenever the Ukrainians gain land, the Russians lose land,” he said.
On the same level, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken praised – today, Thursday – Ukraine’s strength in confronting the Russian army, during a visit to the Chernigov region (northern Ukraine), which Moscow occupied at the beginning of the war.
The Russian forces had captured parts of Chernigov shortly after the start of the war, and then withdrew after about a month.
Blinken, who visited Kiev – yesterday, Wednesday – and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, referred to what he described as “the extraordinary resilience of the Ukrainian people.”
The US Secretary of State indicated that the Russian army “left the cities destroyed and the lands full of mines,” and said, “Up to a third of Ukraine’s territory is now covered with mines or unexploded ordnance.”
Since the start of its counterattack, Kiev has been struggling to penetrate the fortified Russian lines, and is facing growing criticism from Western media that it is concentrating its forces in the wrong locations.
Russian attack with drones
On the other hand, Russia again launched drone attacks targeting a Ukrainian region close to the border with Romania, including the Danube River and Port Ishmael, for the fourth time in five days, according to what the regional governor announced today, Thursday.
Oleg Kipper, governor of the Odessa region in southwestern Ukraine, said that the latest attack, which was carried out on Wednesday evening, lasted three hours, during which Iranian-made Shahed drones were used, adding that this was the fourth attack on the Ismail region in the last five days.
The Ukrainian Air Force indicated that Russia launched 33 attack drones during the night in multiple swarms, “especially in the direction of the southern districts of the Odessa region,” announcing that 25 of them were shot down.
The city of Ishmael, located near the border with Romania, has become a major passage for Ukrainian grain exports after the end of the Black Sea Agreement.
On the other hand, the Kremlin said – today, Thursday – that the United States will be responsible for the “extremely tragic” consequences of its decision to provide Ukraine with depleted uranium munitions.
As the Russian embassy in Washington said in a statement, “The (US) administration’s decision to provide Kiev with depleted uranium shells is an indication of inhumanity. It is clear that Washington, obsessed with the idea of inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia, is ready to fight not only the last Ukrainian, but also destroy entire generations,” according to the Russian “RT” channel.
“By providing the Ukrainian authorities with these military products, the United States is engaging in self-deception, refusing to accept the failure of the so-called counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces,” the statement added.
Countries such as the United States and Britain consider depleted uranium to be used effectively in ammunition; Because its extreme density gives projectiles the ability to penetrate armor easily, which enables the destruction of modern tanks.
Russian money for Ukraine
In another context, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today, Thursday, that the US plan to use confiscated funds belonging to Russian businessmen subject to sanctions to help Ukraine is illegal, adding that Russia will challenge any similar actions.
And US Secretary of State Blinken said – during his visit to Kiev yesterday, Wednesday – that Washington is transferring $ 5.4 million to Ukraine from “assets it confiscated from Russian businessmen subject to sanctions, which will now be used to support veterans of the Ukrainian army.”
But Peskov told reporters, “This is hard to imagine and goes against everything stipulated in international law and the domestic law of both countries. But when the opportunity arises, we will defend our rights.”
He added that some Russian businessmen have already obtained court rulings in European countries deeming such transfers illegal. “Not a single case of such unlawful detention will be left unattended,” he said.