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Zelensky: Ukraine facing 'new stage' in war as Russia preparing to expand offensive

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 3, 2024 8:02 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky during a trip to Khmelnytskyi Oblast on May 3, 2024. (Presidential Office)
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Ukraine is facing "a new stage" in the Russia's full-scale war, President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a meeting with border guards in Khmelnytskyi Oblast on May 3.

Zelensky's statement came amid a deteriorating situation on the battlefield. Kyrylo Budanov, the chief of Ukraine's military intelligence (HUR), said that Ukraine should expect to face a renewed Russian offensive in late spring or early summer, with the offensive intensifying around eastern Donbas region.

"The occupier is now preparing to expand its offensive. And all of us — Ukrainians, soldiers, state, partners — must do everything to disrupt Russia's offensive plan," Zelensky said.

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War Notes

Russia is likely trying to take as much territory as possible before the impact of the recently passed U.S. aid bill for Ukraine can be felt on the battlefield.

Chasiv Yar, a town in Donetsk Oblast, remains one of Russia's key targets as it could facilitate further advances toward the nearby cities of Kostiantynivka, Kramatorsk, and Sloviansk, said Oleksandr Pavliuk, Ukraine's Ground Forces Commander.

Russia aims to completely occupy Donetsk, Luhansk, and, if possible, Zaporizhzhia oblasts in 2024, according to Pavliuk.

Moscow is also likely preparing for an offensive around northeastern Sumy and Kharkiv oblasts, said Vadym Skibitsky, deputy head of HUR.

"We must prove that the occupier will not succeed in achieving its goals under any circumstances, no matter what it does and no matter how cruelly it acts. Ukraine will prevail anyway," Zelensky added.

Battle of Chasiv Yar begins: On the ground with Ukrainian forces defending city key to Russia’s plans
Editor’s note: In accordance with the security protocols of the Ukrainian military, soldiers featured in this story are identified by first names and callsigns only. CHASIV YAR, DONETSK OBLAST – As he creeps between rubble-strewn garages near the central square of Chasiv Yar, the eyes and ears of t…
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