- "if President Putin even considers doing something similar to a NATO country as he has done to Georgia
- In a speech in his native Norway, Stoltenberg declared, "It's in our interest that this kind of aggressive policy does not succeed."
This week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy referred to the stress on his military in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine as “Hell.” He described intense fighting near the towns of Avdiivka and the fortified settlement of Pisky, where Kyiv recently acknowledged “partial success” by its Russian adversary.
The Russian military, according to the Ukrainian military, launched at least two attacks on Pisky on Thursday, but Ukrainian troops were able to repel them.
Considering Pisky to be a buffer zone against Russian-backed forces that are in control of the city of Donetsk around 10 km (6 miles) to the southeast, Ukraine has spent the last eight years strengthening military fortifications there.
On Thursday, the Russian defence ministry announced that its forces were engaged in an offensive.
It claimed that they had severely damaged Ukrainian soldiers in the area of Avdiivka and two other points in the Donetsk province, forcing them to withdraw.
Reuters was unable to independently confirm either side’s claims right away.
The Russian defence ministry published video footage that showed Russian rocket launchers in operation and tanks moving quickly across open territory while shooting. Where they were filmed is unknown.
Unverified reports claim that Russian-supported soldiers have reached the outskirts of Pisky.
Ukraine has started aiming its fire at nearby forces backed by Russia as well after receiving sophisticated weapons from the West.
At least five people were killed and six more were injured in Donetsk city as a result of Ukrainian shelling, according to officials of the Russian-backed self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
Social media videos displayed bodies—some blown to pieces—lying along a road in the heart of Donetsk. The street was covered in blood.
The Russian shelling in Bakhmut, Maryinka, and Shevchenko resulted in the deaths of three civilians and five injuries in the last day, according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the Ukrainian governor of Donetsk, who posted on Telegram.
He claimed that Russian artillery fire in the Donetsk town of Toretsk had resulted in eight fatalities and four injuries.
As part of what it calls a “special military operation,” Russia, which denies deliberately targeting civilians and plans to seize full control of the larger Donetsk province—one of two that make up the industrialised Donbas region—to protect its security from what it views as unjustified NATO enlargement.
When President Vladimir Putin ordered tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24, Ukraine and the West demanded that Russian forces leave their positions immediately. They described Russia’s actions as an unprovoked imperial-style campaign of aggression.
Moscow seems unlikely to consent to it freely given that it frequently discusses the need for its soldiers to expand further into Ukraine.
In an effort to push it to shift troops from the south, where Kyiv’s forces are attempting to recover territory and damage Russian supply lines as a prelude to a larger counteroffensive, Ukraine claimed that Russia’s offensive in the east appeared to be taking place.
“Over the coming weeks, there will be military pressure applied to us in Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk.
The course of the battle will not be decided by what is happening in the east, “Oleksiy Arestovych, a presidential adviser for Ukraine, stated in a YouTube interview.
The battle, according to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, is the most perilous time for Europe since World War Two, and a Russian victory must be prevented.
NATO and its member nations may need to provide Ukraine with weaponry and other assistance for a very long time in order to deter Moscow from succeeding, he added.
In a speech in his native Norway, Stoltenberg declared, “It’s in our interest that this kind of aggressive policy does not succeed.”
Stoltenberg warned Putin that the reaction to such an action from the Western military alliance would be overwhelming amid concerns among some Western leaders that Russia’s goals may go beyond Ukraine.
All of NATO will be immediately involved, according to Stoltenberg, “if President Putin even considers doing something similar to a NATO country as he has done to Georgia, Moldova, or Ukraine.” Previously non-aligned Finland and Sweden have applied to join NATO as a result of the war, and so far, 23 of the 30 member states, including the United States, have approved their request.
Finland and Sweden have received numerous warnings from Russia, which has a lengthy land border with Finland, to stay away from NATO.