Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Russia Focuses on Eastern Ukraine for Possible New Offensive
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 1 year ago on
February 1, 2023

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Russia is mustering its military might in the Luhansk region of Ukraine, local officials said Wednesday, in what Kyiv suspects is preparation for an offensive in the eastern area in coming weeks as the anniversary of Moscow’s invasion approaches.

Also Wednesday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government continued its crackdown on alleged corruption, reportedly targeting the head of the Kyiv tax service, customs officials, a former government minister and an oligarch.

Zelenskyy was elected in 2019 on an anti-establishment and anti-corruption platform in a country long gripped by graft, and the new allegations come as Western allies are channeling billions of dollars to help Kyiv fight against Moscow.

On the battlefront, the Kremlin’s forces are expelling local residents from their homes near the Russian-held parts of the front line so that they can’t provide information about Russian troop deployments to Ukrainian artillery, Luhansk Gov. Serhii Haidai said.

“There is an active transfer of (Russian troops) to the region and they are definitely preparing for something on the eastern front in February,” Haidai said.

Military analysts anticipate a new push soon by Moscow’s forces, with the Institute for the Study of War saying in an assessment late Tuesday that “an imminent Russian offensive in the coming months is the most likely course of action.”

A new offensive might also coincide with the invasion anniversary on Feb. 24.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported Wednesday that Russia is also concentrating its efforts in neighboring Donetsk province, especially in its bid to capture the key city of Bakhmut.

Donetsk and Luhansk provinces make up the Donbas, an industrial region bordering Russia that President Vladimir Putin identified as a goal from the war’s outset and where Moscow-backed separatists have fought Ukrainian authorities since 2014.

Ukraine Seeking More Military Aid

The regional governor of Donetsk, Pavlo Kyrylenko, posted images of the aftermath of the shelling in Bakhmut, showing huge black holes in residential buildings in the embattled city.

He said that Russia is “actively deploying new military personnel to the region.”

Donetsk was one of four provinces that Russia illegally annexed in the fall, but it controls only about half of it. To take the remaining half, Russian forces have no choice but to go through Bakhmut, which offers the only approach to bigger Ukrainian-held cities.

Russian forces have been trying for months to capture Bakhmut. Moscow-installed authorities in Donetsk claimed Russian troops are “closing the ring” around the city.

Russian shelling of Bakhmut, where most residents have fled and others spend much of their time in cellars, killed at least five civilians and wounded 10 others on Tuesday, Ukraine’s presidential office said Wednesday.

Ukraine is keen to secure more Western military aid as it tries to fend off the much larger Russian forces. It has already won pledges of tanks and now wants more.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, tweeted Wednesday that talks are underway on securing longer-range missiles and fighter jets from Ukraine’s allies.

Asked to comment on media reports about a new package of U.S. military assistance to Ukraine expected to be announced soon, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described it as “a direct path to inciting tensions and taking the escalation to a new level.”

“It will require additional efforts on our part, but it won’t change the course of events,” he said in a conference call with reporters.

The Western allies are trying to broaden their coalition in support of Ukraine.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday in Tokyo that he sought stronger cooperation and more “friends” for the alliance in the Indo-Pacific region.

In other developments Wednesday:

— Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating corruption, said it had found evidence making it suspect the head of the Kyiv tax service is guilty of embezzlement.

— Meanwhile, David Arakhmaia, the head of the parliamentary faction of Ukraine’s Servant of the People party to which Zelenskyy belongs, said the entire leadership of the Ukrainian customs service would be fired.

— Local media reported that police also carried out anti-corruption raids on a Ukrainian oligarch and a former interior minister.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

DON'T MISS

Keaton Winn Throws Six Solid Innings as Giants Take Series From Marlins

DON'T MISS

Attorney Suing Fresno Grizzlies for $5 Million Is No Stranger to ‘Ladies Night’ Cases

DON'T MISS

Hagrid Has a Bit of a Playful Side, but the Heart of a Giant. And He’s Ready for Adoption

DON'T MISS

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

DON'T MISS

Hot Rod Willys: Driven to Bake the Perfect Chicago-Style Pizza

DON'T MISS

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

DON'T MISS

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

DON'T MISS

Senate Dismissed Two Articles of Impeachment, Ending Trial on Mayorkas

DON'T MISS

Netanyahu Dismisses Calls for Restraint, Says Israel Will Decide Iran Attack Response

UP NEXT

Storm Dumps Record Rain and Floods Dubai’s Airport

UP NEXT

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

UP NEXT

The Latest | World Leaders Urge Israel Not to Retaliate for the Iranian Drone and Missile Attack

UP NEXT

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

UP NEXT

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

UP NEXT

Israeli Settlers Rampage Through a West Bank Village, Killing 1 Palestinian and Wounding 25

UP NEXT

US Intelligence Finding Shows China Surging Equipment Sales to Russia to Help War Effort in Ukraine

UP NEXT

More Aid Is Supposed to Be Entering the Gaza Strip. Why Isn’t It Helping?

UP NEXT

Wife of Julian Assange Says Biden’s Comments Mean Case Could Be Moving in the Right Direction

UP NEXT

Hamas Leader Says 3 Sons, 4 Grandchildren Killed in ‘Revenge’ Israeli Attack

Hagrid Has a Bit of a Playful Side, but the Heart of a Giant. And He’s Ready for Adoption

Animals /

5 hours ago

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

17 hours ago

Hot Rod Willys: Driven to Bake the Perfect Chicago-Style Pizza

18 hours ago

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

19 hours ago

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

19 hours ago

Senate Dismissed Two Articles of Impeachment, Ending Trial on Mayorkas

20 hours ago

Netanyahu Dismisses Calls for Restraint, Says Israel Will Decide Iran Attack Response

20 hours ago

New Study Calculates Climate Change’s Economic Bite Will Hit About $38 Trillion a Year by 2049

20 hours ago

Biden Pledges to Block Japanese Takeover of US Steel and Promises Tariffs on Chinese Steel

20 hours ago

Don Arax Talks About His New Football Job at Visalia’s Central Valley Christian

21 hours ago

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

NEW YORK — A juror in Donald Trump’s hush money trial was dismissed Thursday after expressing doubt about her ability to be fair and i...

12 mins ago

12 mins ago

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

24 mins ago

Keaton Winn Throws Six Solid Innings as Giants Take Series From Marlins

44 mins ago

Attorney Suing Fresno Grizzlies for $5 Million Is No Stranger to ‘Ladies Night’ Cases

Animals /
5 hours ago

Hagrid Has a Bit of a Playful Side, but the Heart of a Giant. And He’s Ready for Adoption

17 hours ago

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

18 hours ago

Hot Rod Willys: Driven to Bake the Perfect Chicago-Style Pizza

19 hours ago

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

19 hours ago

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend