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Frontline Crisis Deepens, Says Ukraine’s Top Military Commander

Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi (Credits: Sky News)

Ukrainian forces have been forced to withdraw from their positions in the eastern Donetsk region, according to Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi, who stated that the situation at the front has worsened.

This development comes as Russia continues to try and gain an advantage by utilizing its superior manpower and artillery before Ukraine receives much-needed new US weapons.

The US recently agreed to provide Ukraine with substantial $61 billion in military aid. Still, the new weapons have yet to reach the frontlines, where Ukrainian troops have been facing a severe shortage of ammunition, troops, and air defenses for months.

This shortage has left Ukrainian forces vulnerable to Russian attacks, and the situation is becoming increasingly dire. General Syrskyi confirmed that Ukrainian forces had withdrawn from some of their positions in an area of Donetsk that had formed part of a defensive line, established after Russia captured Avdiivka in February.

Oleksandr Syrskyi (Credits: Bloomberg)

Much of the fighting has been occurring around Chasiv Yar, a Kyiv-controlled stronghold Russia has been trying to reach after seizing Avdiivka. In some areas, new defensive lines have been taken up further to the west, with General Syrskyi conceding the loss of territory to the advancing Russians.

President Biden Recently Approved a $95 Billion Package

Moscow has secured “tactical successes in some sectors,” according to General Syrskyi, who added that rested Ukrainian brigades are being rotated in those areas to replace units that have suffered losses. Russia’s defense ministry earlier reported that its troops had captured the village of Novobakhmutivka, around 10 km north of Avdiivka.

This development comes despite speculation about a rift between General Syrskyi’s predecessor, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Earlier this month, General Syrskyi warned that the battlefield situation in the country’s east had “worsened hugely.”

The commander of Ukraine’s National Guard, Oleksandr Pivnenko, has also expressed concerns about a potential Russian advance on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city near the Russian border.

In a positive development, US President Joe Biden recently signed off on a $95 billion package of aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, following months of gridlock despite opposition to the aid from some in Congress. The Senate had passed a similar aid package in February. Still, a group of conservatives who oppose new Ukraine support had prevented it from coming to a vote in the House of Representatives.

Ukrainian forces (Credits: DVIDS)

On Friday, the Pentagon announced that it would “rush” Patriot air defense missiles and artillery ammunition to Ukraine as part of its new military aid package. This aid is crucial for Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression, and its arrival cannot come soon enough.

According to the Kiel Institute, a German research organization, the US provided Ukraine with more than $40 billion in military aid between February 2022 and January 2024. This aid has been instrumental in helping Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s ongoing invasion, and the new package of aid will be essential in helping Ukraine regain the initiative on the battlefield.

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