AP

Ukraine facing grinding campaign as it waits for weapons

Jun 2, 2022, 3:43 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 10:58 am

KHARKIV OBLAST, UKRAINE - MAY 20: A Ukrainian Army soldier places a U.S.-made Javelin missile in a ...

KHARKIV OBLAST, UKRAINE - MAY 20: A Ukrainian Army soldier places a U.S.-made Javelin missile in a fighting position on the frontline on May 20, 2022 in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine. Soldiers from the 93rd brigade have been fighting to repel a Russian advance to the south from Izium. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian forces locked in a grinding battle for control of the country’s east struggled to hold off Russian troops and buy themselves some time Thursday while they await the arrival of the advanced rockets and anti-aircraft weapons promised by the West.

With the arms deliveries possibly weeks away, Ukraine is looking at a prolonged period of grueling combat, military analysts said.

“There’s a time lag, so the next few weeks are going to be pretty tough for our Ukrainian friends,” said retired U.S. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, former commanding general of U.S. Army forces in Europe.

Ukraine is intent on exhausting Russian forces, as evidenced by street-to-street fighting in the critical eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, said Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov.

“And this can go on for quite some time,” he warned.

Britain on Thursday pledged to send sophisticated medium-range rocket systems to Ukraine, joining the U.S and Germany in equipping the country with some of the advanced weapons it had been begging for to shoot down aircraft and destroy artillery and supply lines.

Western arms have been critical to Ukraine’s success in stymieing Russia’s much larger and better-equipped military during the war, which was in its 99th day Thursday.

The Kremlin warned of “absolutely undesirable and rather unpleasant scenarios” if the latest Western-supplied weapons are fired into Russia.

“This pumping of Ukraine with weapons … will bring more suffering to Ukraine, which is merely a tool in the hands of those countries that supply it with weapons,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Russian forces continued to pound towns and cities overnight and to tighten their grip on Sievierodonetsk in Ukraine’s industrial Donbas region, which Moscow is intent on seizing. An estimated 800 people, including children, were holed up in bomb shelters at a chemical factory under attack in the city, the regional governor said.

Britain’s Defense Ministry reported that Russia had captured most of Sievierodonetsk, one of two cities in Luhansk province that had remained under Ukrainian control. The Donbas is made up of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces.

Meanwhile, residents forced to flee the Kyiv area after the Russians’ abortive attempt to storm the capital weeks ago confronted the overwhelming task of rebuilding their shattered lives.

Nila Zelinska and her husband, Eduard, returned for the first time to the charred ruins of their home outside Kyiv. They fled with her 82-year-old mother amid Russian shelling and airstrikes in the early days of the war.

A sobbing Zelinska recovered from the rubble a doll that belonged to one of her grandchildren, clutching it as if it were a real child.

“May there be peace on earth, peace so that our people are not suffering so much,” she said.

Speaking by video link to a security conference in Slovakia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for even more weapons and sanctions against Russia to halt such horrors.

“As of today, the occupiers control almost 20% of our territory,” he said.

Zelenskyy said Russia had fired 15 cruise missiles in the past day and used a total of 2,478 missiles since invading Ukraine. He said “most of them targeted civil infrastructure.”

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Britain will send an unspecified number of M270 launchers, which can fire precision-guided rockets up to 80 kilometers (50 miles). Ukrainian troops will be trained in Britain to use the equipment, he said.

On Wednesday, the U.S. said it would supply advanced rocket launchers to Ukraine, and Germany agreed to provide up-to-date anti-aircraft missiles and radar systems.

Analysts think Russia is hoping to overrun the Donbas before any weapons that might turn the tide arrive. It will take at least three weeks to get the precision U.S. weapons and trained troops onto the battlefield, the Pentagon said.

Military analyst Zhdanov said Russia stepped up missile strikes in response to the newly promised arms.

“Supplies of Western weapons are of great concern for the Kremlin, because even without sufficient weapons the Ukrainian army is daringly resisting the offensive,” he said.

Zhdanov predicted Russian forces will be exhausted when the fierce fighting in and around Sievierodonetsk is over, giving Ukraine time to get the weapons and prepare a counteroffensive.

Kyiv also got a diplomatic boost with the formal installation Thursday of a new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink.

Brink said her top priority “is to help Ukraine prevail against Russian aggression.”

“There is no place on the planet I would rather be,” she said after presenting her credentials to Zelenskyy. “President Biden has said that we’re going to be here, helping Ukraine, for as long as it takes. And that’s what we’ll do.”

Brink is Washington’s first ambassador in Kyiv since former U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly forced out Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in 2019. She later became a key figure in the impeachment proceedings against Trump.

KSL 5 TV Live

AP

Snow in Little Cottonwood Canyon...

Scott Sonner and Stefanie Dazio, Associated Press

Stretch of I-80 shut down as monster blizzard dumps snow on mountains in California and Nevada

California authorities shut down 100 miles of Interstate 80 on Friday as the biggest snow storm of the season bore down on the Sierra Nevada.

6 hours ago

FILE: Ballots are counted by Maricopa County Elections Department staff ahead of Tuesdays election ...

Associated Press

Arizona’s new voting laws that require proof of citizenship are not discriminatory, a US judge rules

A U.S. district judge has ruled Arizona legislators did not discriminate when they adopted laws requiring counties to verify the status of registered voters who haven’t provided proof of U.S. citizenship.

6 hours ago

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, listens as his attorne...

Farnoush Amiri and Lisa Mascaro, Associated Press

Takeaways from Hunter Biden’s combative deposition with Republican lawmakers

The transcript of the congressional deposition of Hunter Biden has been released. It reveals the contentious testimony that took place Wednesday as Republicans scrambled to advance an impeachment inquiry on the brink of collapse.

9 hours ago

Damage to a property burned by the Smokehouse Creek Fire is seen Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, in Canad...

Associated Press

Gov. Abbott says Texas wildfires may have destroyed up to 500 structures

Wildfires have destroyed as many as 500 structures in the Texas Panhandle, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday, describing how the largest blaze in state history scorched everything in its path, leaving ashes in its wake.

11 hours ago

Palestinians walk through the destruction from the Israeli offensive in Jabaliya refugee camp in th...

Zeke Miller, Aamer Madhani and Matthew Lee

Biden approves military airdrops of aid into Gaza after chaotic encounter left more than 100 dead

President Joe Biden says that the U.S. will begin air-dropping humanitarian assistance into Gaza, a day after more than 100 of Palestinians were killed during a chaotic encounter with Israeli troops.

13 hours ago

FILE - This image, contained in the indictment against former President Donald Trump, and partially...

Eric Tucker, Adriana Gomez Licon and Freida Frisaro

Judge in Trump’s classified documents case is expected to set a trial date during a crucial hearing

The federal judge overseeing the classified documents prosecution of Donald Trump is expected to set a trial date.

20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Ukraine facing grinding campaign as it waits for weapons