WORLD

Zelensky postpones all his upcoming foreign tours after the Russian army’s advances on the ground and losses

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Zelensky was scheduled to visit Spain, then Portugal, later this week. No reason was given for his decision, but it appears that Kiev is having difficulty repelling the latest Russian attack.

Announcement

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was forced to postpone his upcoming foreign trips while the Ukrainian army is fighting to repel attacks by Russian forces on the front lines. The president’s office said on Telegram that Zelensky had canceled all his foreign visits “which were scheduled to take place in the coming days.” The President called on his team to reschedule the visits.

Zelensky was scheduled to visit Spain, then Portugal, later this week. No reason was given for his decision, but it appears that Kiev is having difficulty repelling the latest Russian attack.

Reassure Ukraine and Ukrainians

This coincides with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit on Wednesday to a drone manufacturing facility in Kiev on the second day of the visit, which comes to “reassure” Ukrainians of continued American support.

Blinken also toured a grain transportation facility and an electronics factory, and praised Ukrainian innovation and creativity in the face of wartime difficulties.

“Ukraine has had to adapt to this, and it has done so remarkably well,” Blinken said of grain exports that are now transported by rail after traditional shipping routes were cut off by the large-scale Russian invasion, which began on February 24, 2022. .

Since last week, Russian forces began launching a new attack in the Kharkiv region in northeastern Ukraine, which represents the most significant border incursion since the launch of a large-scale invasion, which forced about 8,000 local residents to flee their homes. Along with Moscow’s weeks of efforts to build on its recent gains in the eastern Donetsk region, the more than two-year-old war has entered a critical phase for the Ukrainian army.

Against this bleak backdrop, with thousands of Ukrainian troops fighting fierce battles in towns and villages, Blinken on Tuesday pledged continued US support for the country, during and after the war. He also tried to raise morale in Kiev, by playing the guitar with a band in one of the city’s bars and then eating pizza.

Opening new fronts

Russia is opening new fronts to weaken the Ukrainian army, which suffers from a shortage of ammunition and manpower, along the nearly 1,000-kilometre front line, hoping to destabilize the defenses. Russian raids also threaten the Chernihiv and Sumy regions in northern Ukraine.

Zelensky confirmed in his evening video speech on Tuesday that the army had sent reinforcements to the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, and added: “It is too early to draw conclusions, but the situation is under control.”

The pace of Russian advances in the Kharkiv border region, where it launched an offensive late last week and made significant progress, has slowed, the Institute for the Study of War said late Tuesday. The Washington-based think tank said Moscow’s main goal there is to create a “buffer zone” that prevents Ukrainian cross-border attacks on Russia’s Belgorod region.

Russia is on the lookout for Ukrainian missiles

Russian air defenses shot down several Ukrainian missiles over the Black Sea and near the Belbek air base, Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozaev said. Sevastopol is the place where the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet is located. Razvozaev pointed out that fragments of the missiles that were targeted fell in residential areas, but did not cause any casualties.

The Ministry of Defense said that Russian air defenses also shot down nine Ukrainian drones, two Velha missiles, two HARM anti-radar missiles, and two Hummer guided bombs over the Belgorod region on Wednesday morning.

Two people were injured in the village of Dubovoye when a Ukrainian missile set fire to their home, according to Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov. The army said that five more Ukrainian drones were shot down over the Kursk region, and three over the Bryansk region.

The Ministry of Defense also said that another Ukrainian drone was shot down over the Tatarstan region. Tatarstan is located more than a thousand kilometers east of the border with Ukraine.

Vasily Golubev, governor of the Rostov region, said that two drones attacked a fuel depot, noting that there were no casualties or fires.

Ukraine has launched a series of drone attacks on oil refineries and fuel depots across Russia in recent months, causing severe damage.