Ukraine war

Washington prepares $400 mln arms aid for Ukraine as Bakhmut battle rages 'round the clock'

Ukrainian service members prepare to shoot from a howitzer at a front line, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, near the city of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine March 2, 2023. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak

Ukrainian forces entrenched in the eastern city of Bakhmut constructed additional trenches to repel Russian attackers. The United States announced that new military help for Ukraine would be considered in a Friday meeting with the German Chancellor.

For months, Russian soldiers have attacked Bakhmut in the Donetsk region in waves, and the site has become one of the bloodiest battlefields in the war.

"In Bakhmut, fighting occurs around the clock...

The circumstance is dire, "Deputy commander of the Ukrainian National Guard Volodymyr Nazarenko told Ukrainian NV Radio.

"They disregard their losses in attempting an assault on the city. The mission of our forces in Bakhmut is to inflict as many casualties as possible on the adversary. Each metre of Ukrainian territory costs the enemy hundreds of deaths."

In the past 24 hours, Ukrainian forces have repelled more than 170 attacks in the five main sectors of the front line, Ukrainian military expert Oleh Zhdanov reported on YouTube on Thursday evening.

Zhdanov reported Russian efforts to encircle Bakhmut from the north, east, and south. He stated that the western approaches to the city are "this is probably the only part of the Bakhmut sector where our forces, rather than the Russian occupiers, have the initiative."

Russia, which lost ground in the second half of 2022, claims that capturing Bakhmut would be the first step towards seizing the whole of the Donbas industrial zone. Ukraine asserts that the city has low strategic significance but desires to exhaust Russian forces.

The General Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces issued a statement on Thursday evening stating that Ukrainian forces withstood attacks on Bakhmut and two other settlements, Khromove and Ivanivske.

According to the report, Russian bombardment struck Bakhmut and numerous other towns, including Chasiv Yar, the largest city to the West, and two villages south of Bakhmut.

In surrounding towns and villages, fresh trenches had been excavated 20-40 meters (65-130 feet) apart on the roadside, indicating that Ukrainian soldiers were fortifying defensive positions.

"We require as many weapons as possible. " More Russians are present than we have ammunition to destroy, "Nazarenko claimed. "The quantity of hostile soldiers is irrelevant. What is important is technology."

According to a statement released by the Ukrainian military, Russian forces blasted more than 40 towns and villages in the central Zaporizhzhia area and the Kherson district on the southern front.

Concerns about China

As U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz meet at the White House, announcing a new $400 million military aid package for the Ukrainian government is expected to be a prominent topic of conversation.

Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) for HIMARS launchers, ammunition for Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and armoured vehicle-launched bridges are expected to make up most of the help, according to two U.S. officials and a person familiar with the package.

Ukraine has received approximately $32 billion in weapons from the United States to defend itself against Russia, which invaded its pro-Western neighbour on February 24, 2014.

A senior administration official stated that Biden and Scholz could also discuss fears that China may give Russia lethal aid.

According to U.S. officials and other sources, the Biden administration is consulting with close friends about the potential of slapping further sanctions on China if Beijing gives military support to Russia. Beijing has denied considering such aid, and U.S. officials have presented no public evidence to support their claim.

John Kirby, the White House's national security spokesperson, stated in response to a reporter's question about whether Biden and Scholz would discuss prospective sanctions against China that "the issue of a third party support to Russia could come up."

International chill

The year-long battle has resulted in the deaths of thousands, the displacement of millions, the destruction of Ukrainian cities, a jolt to the global economy, and a Cold War-like cold in international relations.

Russia claims its "special military operation" aims to undermine the Ukrainian military and eliminate danger to its security. Ukraine and its allies accuse Russia of waging an unjustified land grab war.

Shortly before Russia's incursion, China leader Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin met to formalize a "no limits" cooperation between their countries, causing concern in the West.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the G20 foreign ministers conference to halt the war and pushed Moscow to restore its suspension of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) on nuclear weapons, according to a senior U.S. official.

It was the first time the top diplomats had met in person since the invasion. According to the Russian foreign ministry, Lavrov and Blinken chatted for less than 10 minutes while "on the move."

After the summit concluded without a unified declaration, Russia accused the West of extortion and threats and asserted that China backed its position.

Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong said she discussed Russia's invasion of Ukraine with China's foreign minister Qin Gang on the sidelines of a meeting in New Delhi. She told reporters afterwards that all nations want China to "do the right thing" and stop supplying Russia with weapons.

Publish : 2023-03-03 10:32:00

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