With Gaza War Taking Away Focus From Ukraine, Kyiv Marks Major Advance This Week
In recent weeks, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has receded from the headlines amid Israel’s war against Hamas, a highly-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive has yielded only incremental gains and support for the Kyiv government in Washington appears to be wavering.
Ukraine is in need of a morale boost. But a bright spot of news surfaced this week, when Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Ukrainian forces had “gained a foothold” on the left bank of the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine.
Kyiv’s Efforts To Keep West On Its Side
US-based experts earlier said advances had been made into the village of Krynky, 2 km inland from the waterbody and 30 km from the city of Kherson, recaptured months back. On Wednesday, Russia admitted Ukrainian forces had set up positions in the village on the left bank.
But Vladimir Saldo, the Russia-installed governor of the occupied portions of Kherson region, said additional Russian troops were being deployed to counter Ukrainians, noting “the enemy is blocked in Krynky, a fiery hell is arranged for them.”
Nonetheless, the potentially significant advance comes at a time when Ukraine needs to show its allies in the West that it is capable of maintaining momentum on the battlefield. Those efforts got a diplomatic boost on Thursday with a visit to Kyiv by David Cameron.
“Dividing Focuses Really Doesn’t Help”
It was the new UK foreign secretary’s first official trip abroad since his shock appointment. “Thank you for coming,” said Zelensky, adding: “Now you know the world is not focused on the situation on our battlefield and on Ukraine and dividing focuses really doesn’t help.”
Dmytro Kuleba, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, on Monday said the country urgently needed the EU to ramp up its ability to supply ammunition. But Germany’s Defence Minister Boris Pistorius has acknowledged the bloc will likely miss a 1 million-round ammunition target.