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Intense battles are taking place in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk Oblast, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on June 8, amid reports that Ukraine's much-anticipated counteroffensive to regain territory is now underway.

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Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin meet at the Pentagon on April 12, 2023. (Photo: Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal / Telegram)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal met with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon on April 12, the U.S. Defense Ministry reported.

Shmyhal said on Telegram that it was an "important meeting" which focused on liberating Ukrainian territory and ways to strengthen Ukraine's "capacity for the future."

"For a faster victory, Ukraine also needs more weapons: air defense, heavy artillery and equipment, mortars, and ammunition for them. I called on the U.S. to support the provision of longer-range missiles," Shmyhal said.

He also thanked the American people for their continued support of Ukraine since the start of Russia's all-out war.

Many believe that Ukraine's planned counteroffensive has the potential to be a pivotal turning point in the war.

On March 16, Austin said that "Ukraine doesn't have time to waste" ahead of the counteroffensive when it came to getting the weapons and training it needs for soldiers.

Austin is set to lead the 11th Ramstein summit, formally known as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, on April 21. Ramstein summits are held to coordinate Kyiv's allies' efforts to provide military aid to Ukraine.

Oleg Sukhov: What should be done to ensure Ukraine’s victory in 2023
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in our op-ed section are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of the Kyiv Independent. When Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began almost a year ago, the issue of Ukraine’s very existence and survival came to
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