Russia: Gurulyov warns ‘there could be a strike’
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In a speech offering some insight into US intelligence about the Ukraine-Russia war on Wednesday, US Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley said Russia had lost 20 to 30 percent of its armoured forces since the beginning of the invasion in a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s effort to invade Ukraine. It comes as intense fighting is raging on in the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, the new epicentre of the war.
Mr Milley said: “Russian have lost probably in the tune of 20 to 30 percent of their armoured forces. That’s significant, that’s huge.”
Mr Milley said: “So, the Ukrainians are fighting a very effective fight tactically with both fires and manoeuvres.
“The Ukrainians on the other hand are using much better artillery techniques and they have a pretty good effect on Russia.”
In this phase of the war, Russian forces are concentrating their efforts in the eastern Donbas region after having failed to invade the north and the west of the country in failed logistical operations, war experts argue.
They appear to be turning the tide in their favour in the key city of the Donbas’ Severodonetsk city where Russian forces have destroyed all the main bridges connecting with Ukrainian-held territories, complicating evacuations of civilians now trapped in the city.
“All of the main bridges over the Siverskyy Donets River, which link the contested town of Sieverodonetsk and Ukrainian-held territory, have now highly likely been destroyed,” the UK Defence Ministry said.
The UK Ministry of Defence also reports that the destruction of bridges “is likely contributing to its (Russian forces) continued slow rate of advance”, with “severely undermanned groupings.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has described the Donbas war as crucial in the direction the war will take in the next few months.
In a video address on Tuesday, President Zelensky said: “The more losses the enemy suffers there, the less strength they will have to continue the aggression. Therefore, the Donbas direction is key to determining who will dominate in the coming weeks.”
In a renewed plea for further arms deliveries, President Zelensky said the Ukrainian army needed more anti-missile weapons system to face the Ukrainian arm.
“Even though there are fewer and fewer modern missiles in Russia with each passing day, Ukraine’s need for such systems remains.
“Because Russia still has enough Soviet types of missiles, which are even more dangerous. They are many times less accurate, and therefore many times more threatening civilian objects and ordinary residential buildings,” Zelensky said.
In response, US President Joe Biden has pledged to provide a new $1billion arms package, including 18 more howitzers with tactical vehicles to tow them, 36,000 rounds of 155mm ammunition for the howitzers and two Harpoon coastal defence systems, according to the US Defence Department.
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His plea comes ahead of important talks with three European leaders – French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi – making an official visit to Kyiv to show their joined support for Ukraine on Thursday.
The unannounced trip could be a signal of the countries’ backing for Ukraine’s EU candidacy.
The European Commission is due to make a recommendation on Ukraine’s status as an EU candidate – the beginning of a process Ukraine has clong oveted but failed to achieve so far.
“We are at a point when we need to send clear political signals, us Europeans, towards Ukraine and its people when it is resisting heroically,” Emmanuel Macron said.
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