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Zelensky: Situation in Donetsk Oblast difficult but there is military success in Kharkiv Oblast

by Kateryna Hodunova May 21, 2024 11:38 PM 2 min read
An aerial view of destroyed buildings after Russian missile strike in Pokrovsk, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on Aug. 9, 2023. (Ercin Erturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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The situation on the front line in the direction of Pokrovsk, Kramatorsk, and Kurakhove in Donetsk Oblast remains extremely difficult, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his May 21 evening address.

He added, however, that Ukrainian forces are successfully destroying Russian troops in Kharkiv Oblast.

Russia launched a new offensive with a reported 30,000 troops on May 10, targeting Kharkiv Oblast, which is situated near the two countries' shared border in northeastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russian forces continue to push further in Donetsk Oblast, apart from the Kharkiv offensive. The situation is reportedly tense in the area, as Russian troops constantly try to break through.

In mid-May, the Russian military carried out from 10 to 20 assaults per day in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, according to Nazar Voloshyn, the spokesperson of the Khortytsia group of forces.

Zelensky received military reports from Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, and General Staff Chief Anatolii Barhylevych on May 21.

"The Pokrovsk direction and other Donetsk directions – Kramatorsk and Kurakhove – remain extremely difficult," the president said.

Every Western decision is late by a year, says Zelensky
Western partners have been deliberating key decisions on military assistance for Ukraine for “too long,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said on May 20 in an interview with Reuters. The president described the delivery of aid, particularly badly needed air defense, as “one big step forward, but before…

Zelensky also recalled the 22nd Ramstein-format summit of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG), which occurred the day prior.

Zelensky said all partners were informed about Ukraine's urgent needs, including air defense systems, armored infantry vehicles, and shells.

After six months of political infighting and delays, the U.S. passed a long-awaited $61 billion aid package in April, with much of it covering military aid.

During the six-month break in aid, Ukraine lost the key front-line city of Avdiivka in February amid a severe ammunition shortage.

Ukraine's shortage of air defense has also been felt as Russia intensified its strikes all over the country, mainly targeting energy infrastructure.

Russian strikes against Ukraine's energy infrastructure have cost the state over $1 billion in damages, according to the Energy Ministry.

Opinion: Will the renewed US support for Ukraine be enough?
New U.S.-supplied weapons and money are now on their way to Ukraine. Whether to provide additional military aid was a matter of debate for many months in the U.S. Congress. In the end, Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson stared down the most right-wing elements
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