Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, made his first visit to Kharkiv since the Ukrainian forces retook thousands of square miles of territory in the region. This was after a lightning offensive that took place over the weekend.
The extraordinary success of the Ukrainian campaign was demonstrated by Mr. Zelensky’s visit to Izyum. The city was a major hub for Russian troops and weapons from the northeast since the beginning of the invasion. This visit was also made on the same day that the European Union announced large amounts of new aid for Ukraine.
Zelensky posted a video message online Tuesday night stating that efforts are being made to restore normalcy to the retaken areas of the region, which was under Russian occupation for six months. According to him, pension payments in Balakliya (another city in the region) are already being resumed.
Mr. Zelensky stated, “It’s very important that together our troops, with the flag, normal life comes to unoccupied territory.”
Zelensky visited the retaken territories to capitalize on the country’s battlefield successes. Officials in Ukraine hope this will encourage the West to send more financial and military aid to the country. He stated that in every victory for Ukraine, there is also a victory for those who, along with us, defend freedoms and European values.”
On Wednesday, Mr. Zelensky visited Izyum. Ursula Von der Leyen was president of the European Commission and pledged even more support for Ukraine’s reconstruction. Later in the day, she was due to visit Kyiv.
In a speech, she stated that she would work with the first lady to help rebuild schools in Ukraine. “That is why we will contribute 100 million euros. Because Ukraine’s future begins in its schools.
John Kirby, National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, stated Tuesday that the U.S. will likely approve a new aid package to Ukraine in the next few days. Since the beginning of the Biden administration in 2009, the U.S. has provided Kyiv with more than $15 billion in military aid. This includes advanced systems that have played a critical role in recent successes.
Germany’s opposition and some members of the ruling coalition have renewed their appeals to Chancellor Olaf Scholz for permission to deploy German-made tanks and armored vehicles to Ukraine.
However, government officials have resisted. Christine Lambrecht, Defense Minister, stated that Germany would only send Western-made tanks to Ukraine in coordination with other Western allies. These allies have so far resisted such an action.
A senior German government official stated that while we won’t be the first to send Western-made tankers, we are steadily and significantly increasing our contribution, unlike other partners like France.
Meanwhile, Russian officials continued to warn the West not to provide any further assistance for Kyiv. Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, stated that Ukraine’s request for security guarantees from Western partners indicated that Kyiv was continuing on its path to joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This is a Russian threat and the necessity to continue the military operation.
Dmitry Medvedev (second chairman of the Russian Security Council), stated that if the West continues to send weapons to Ukraine, then “sooner than later the military campaign would move to another level.”
Russia has made a change in the way it addresses the war in Ukraine after the defeat at Kharkiv. According to the Institute for the Study of War (a Washington think tank), Kremlin officials discussed publicly the causes of the losses suffered in Ukraine’s northeast at the Russian Duma’s opening session on Tuesday. This was the first time that top Russian officials had openly discussed military setbacks ever since the invasion.
Officials claimed that Russia had pulled out of northern Ukraine in March and April and was prioritizing the campaign for the capture of eastern Luhansk, Donetsk, and other regions. According to ISW, Kremlin officials tried to shift the blame from Putin.
Moscow is calling for an open acknowledgment of the war by some in order to rally support from a disengaged Russian population.
How do special military operations differ from a regular war? The military operation can be stopped at any moment. According to Russian media, Gennady Zyuganov, a lawmaker for the Communist Party, said that you cannot stop the war. “There is a war on and we don’t have the right to lose it. You don’t need to panic right now. We need to mobilize the entire country and we need totally different laws.”
According to ISW, the Duma was also working on a bill to make it easier for Russians to be conscripted to military service.
According to ISW, Ukrainian forces continued moving eastward towards Lyman in the neighboring Donetsk as Mr. Zelensky celebrated the victories of his army in Kharkiv. According to the institute, the Oskil River was a new front in the war.
The institute posted Wednesday’s tweet Wednesday that Russian troops were unlikely to be strong enough against further Ukrainian advances along the whole Oskil River, as they don’t appear to have been receiving reinforcements.
Russian officials and troops were moving to the south of Ukraine, evacuating areas of the Kherson region they controlled, while Ukrainian troops advanced towards the occupied territories. Russia has held the majority of the Kherson area since March. However, a Ukrainian offensive in the region over the past six weeks is easing Moscow’s grip.
According to governors of the region, five people were killed by shelling in Donetsk on Tuesday. Two people were also killed in Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine.