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Ukraine waits for help as Russia advances

​Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi (R), the Commander of the Defense of Kyiv.

Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi (R), the Commander of the Defense of Kyiv.

Oleksandr Syrskyi, Ukraine’s top general, has issued a stark warning: The battlefield situation in Ukraine’s east has “significantly worsened” in recent days. Russian forces outnumber and outgun Ukrainian defenders, the grinding battles over cities like Bakhmut and Avdiivka are expanding to other towns in the Donetsk region, and Ukraine’s depleted air defenses leave its cities increasingly vulnerable to Russian attack.

Slow but steady gains come at great cost to Russian lives and equipment – both sides have seen tens of thousands of soldiers killed and hundreds of thousands wounded – but Russia has deeper reserves of both men and munitions.

For now, Ukraine is waiting for help, particularly from Washington. Without many more and much better weapons, warns Syrskyi, Ukraine can’t “seize the strategic initiative” back from the Russian invaders.

In Washington, House Speaker Mike Johnson continues to look for ways to provide Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars in assistance while avoiding an open revolt from Republican lawmakers who want to cut Ukraine loose. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress want to see what Johnson will bring to the House floor for a vote, and Ukrainians are waiting to see how long they can resist Russia’s current momentum.


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