RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE

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

Top Stories

Russia invades Ukraine

DONETSK DISTRICT, UKRAINE - JULY 01: A fireball appears in the woods as a tank unit with the 14th M...
NOMAAN MERCHANT Associated Press

US announces $820M in Ukraine aid, including missile systems

The U.S. announced on Friday that it will provide Ukraine with $820 million in new military aid, including new surface-to-air missile systems and counter-artillery radars to respond to Russia's heavy reliance on long-range strikes in the war.
2 days ago
ODESSA, UKRAINE - JULY 01: A destroyed building is seen after the Russian missile attack where 17 p...
Rob Picheta, Jonny Hallam, Cristiana Moisescu and Julia Presniakova CNN

Russian missile strikes on Odesa kill 20, including a child, after housing block hit overnight

At least 20 people, including a child, were killed when Russia launched overnight missile strikes at a residential building and a recreation center near Odesa, southern Ukraine, officials said on Friday.
2 days ago
Soldiers survey damage and salvage items after a projectile and subsequent fire destroyed a warehou...
FRANCESCA EBEL, Associated Press

Russian forces leave Snake Island, keep up eastern assault

Russia has pulled back its forces from a Black Sea island where they have faced relentless Ukrainian attacks, but is keeping up its push to encircle the last bulwark of Ukraine’s resistance in the eastern province of Luhansk.
3 days ago
US President Joe Biden, speaks with Jens Stoltenberg (unseen) NATO Secretaty General at the NATO le...
DARLENE SUPERVILLE and ZEKE MILLER, Associated Press

US to boost military presence in Europe for Russia threat

President Joe Biden says the U.S. is enhancing its military presence in Europe for the long haul to bolster regional security after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
4 days ago
(Ukraine State Services/Twitter)...
YURAS KARMANAU and FRANCESCA EBEL, Associated Press

Ukrainian officials say at least 2 dead as missile hits mall

Ukrainian officials say scores of civilians are feared killed or injured after a Russian rocket strike hit a crowded shopping mall in the central city of Kremenchuk.
6 days ago
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds the closing press conference at NATO headquarters dur...
SAMUEL PETREQUIN, Associated Press

NATO to boost rapid reaction force, Ukraine military support

NATO chief says alliance aims to boost rapid reaction force numbers from the current 40,000 to over 300,000.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Ukraine facing grinding campaign as it waits for weapons