Ukraine’s top objective is to maintain status quo as world security leaders assemble
On Friday, as prominent political and military figures from around the world were scheduled to convene in Germany and Ukrainian officials were scheduled to give a speech at the security conference, Russian forces stepped up their attacks near the battle lines in eastern Ukraine.
As the year anniversary of its invasion on February 24 approaches, Russia has stepped up its ground operations in southern and eastern Ukraine with the support of tens of thousands of reservists.
The governor of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk reported a sharp rise in Russian attacks on Friday along the front lines there, suggesting that a serious new Russian offensive is beginning to take shape.
Because of the huge rise in strikes and shelling—including by the air force—” today is very challenging in all directions,” the governor said.
In reference to the combat close to Kreminna city, he added, “There are persistent attempts to breach our defence lines.”
On Thursday, Russia attacked Ukraine’s biggest oil plant and rained missiles over the country. According to the air force, just 16 out of the approximately 36 missiles Russia fired were intercepted—a smaller percentage than usual.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the reports from the battlefield and there was no word from Russia about either the most recent fighting or the missile attacks.
That would further increase the urgency of Ukraine’s requests for additional Western military assistance when it is revealed that the onslaught on Thursday included missiles that its air defences could not shoot down.
Several prominent leaders are present at the Munich Security Conference, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, and US Vice President Kamala Harris.
Days before the battle started, a gathering was held the previous year. Western officials in Munich begged President Vladimir Putin not to invade and forewarned of serious consequences if he did as Russian troops gathered on Ukraine’s borders.
Leaders will have to deal with the repercussions of Putin’s choice to disregard their requests and start the most destructive conflict in Europe since World War Two, which has killed uncountable numbers of people and driven millions of people from their homes, this year.
Several Ukrainian officials are anticipated to speak at the conference, which continues till Sunday but will be remarkable in the absence of Russian authorities.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, stated in his nightly video message that deterring Russian aggression and preparing for a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive were his top priorities.
Keeping the situation at the forefront and becoming ready for any escalation attempts by the enemy are the top priorities for the foreseeable future, he said.
Ukraine has been encouraged by U.S. authorities to delay launching any counteroffensive until the most recent shipment of American weapons is in place and training has been given.