Savelii, 10, reacts to the grave of his father, who died on Sunday while defending the city of Irpin as a member of the territorial defense, in Irpin, Ukraine. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak/EPA-EFE
May 1 (UPI) — General Valeriy Zaluzhny, commander of Ukraine’s army, said on Sunday the country planned to switch to using modern weapons that meet NATO standards, as experts said the country continued to push back against the Russian assault on its eastern region.
Zaluzhny’s comments were made during a phone call with General Mark Milley, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, The New York Times reported.
The country has relied on the use of Soviet-era weaponry shipped by its allies and received NATO-standard weapons that have yet to become part of its defense effort.
On Saturday, Milley also spoke with General Rajmund Andrzejczak, Chief of the General Staff in Poland, to discuss “Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the responses of the United States and the Poland,” according to one reading.
The reading, provided by Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Col. Dave Butler, noted that the United States and Poland “continue to share a strong defense relationship and cooperate on a wide range of programs “.
The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington, DC-based think tank, said in an analysis update on Saturday that the troop reinforcements Russia recently sent to eastern Ukraine are “unlikely to allow stalled Russian forces to make any substantial advances.”
The think tank said the reinforcements are ‘unlikely to allow Russian forces to break the current stalemate’ as Russian attacks remain confined to two major highways ‘and cannot take advantage of greater numbers’ .
Ukrainian forces also carried out several successful counterattacks from Kharkiv and recaptured a suburban ring that could “force Russian forces to redeploy units destined for the Izium axis to occupy these positions”, according to the group. reflection.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov on Sunday visited Yagidne and Lukashivka, two villages in the Chernihiv region that authorities say have been liberated.
The Institute for the Study of War predicted that Ukrainian forces may even be able to carry out broader counterattacks “in the coming days”.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that Russia sent weapons and military equipment by rail to its border with Ukraine from three of its military districts and its Northern Fleet.
“There is a threat of the enemy launching missile strikes on military and civilian infrastructure throughout Ukraine from the territory of the Republic of Belarus, as well as enemy provocations on the specified section of the border of State of Ukraine,” the statement said. .
The ministry said Russian forces continued to carry out airstrikes and artillery fire on Khariv on Sunday as their forces “strengthened” their offensive operations towards Izium.
Nine Russian attacks “were repelled” in the Donbass region, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said, and dozens of military vehicles, including eight tanks, were reportedly destroyed.
The military updates came as Ned Price, the US State Department spokesman, said on Saturday that the United States planned to begin the first visits to Lviv this week as part of its plans to “as soon as possible” to send diplomats back to the country.
“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to follow up on their April 24 meeting in Kyiv,” Price said in a statement.
“The Secretary underscored the strong support of the United States for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s brutal aggression.”
Price added that Blinken and Kuleba also discussed President Joe Biden’s administration’s request to the U.S. Congress on Thursday for $33 billion in security, economic and humanitarian assistance “to enable Ukraine to defeat the inadmissible Kremlin war”.