Ukraine war live updates: Ukraine pulls back forces in east as front line situation worsens; Kyiv desperately awaits U.S. weapon supplies

Czech and Poland farmers with their tractors during protest against EU agrarian policy at the Czech-Polish border crossing of Chotebuz-Boguszowice in Chotebuz, Czech Republic on February 22, 2024. 

Lukas Kabon | Anadolu | Getty Images

Polish protesters unblocked all border crossing points with Ukraine on Monday morning, a Ukraine border guard spokesperson said on a Ukrainian TV broadcast.

“Fortunately, we have unblocked all directions on the border with Poland,” the border guard spokesman Andriy Demchenko said of Polish farmers ending the blockade. He added that the trucks transporting grain products will still face restrictions.

— Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gestures during a press conference on the day of the Ukraine Southeast Europe Summit in Tirana, Albania, February 28, 2024. 

Florion Goga | Reuters

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded on Sunday for the rapid delivery of U.S. military aid, saying supplies, pledged within the $61 billion aid package agreed in the U.S. last week, had not yet arrived.

“We are interacting with our partners at all levels to achieve the level of efficiency in assistance that is needed not only to hold our positions, but also to disrupt Russia’s war plans,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address.

“We are still waiting for the supplies promised to Ukraine – we expect exactly the volume and content of supplies that can change the situation on the battlefield in the interests of Ukraine. And it is important that every agreement we have reached is implemented – everything that will yield practical results on the battlefield and boost the morale of everyone on the frontline,” he said.

Zelenskyy said he had spoken to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries on Sunday and had again “emphasized the need for Patriot [air defense] systems, they are needed as soon as possible.”

— Holly Ellyatt

Ukrainian forces have been forced to retreat from several villages in eastern Ukraine as Russian forces advanced, the country’s army chief said Sunday.

“The situation at the front [has] worsened,” Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, said on Telegram.

He said the “most difficult situation” was in the areas west of Russian-occupied Maryinka and Avdiivka, a town captured by Russian forces in February, and that he had moved his forces “to new frontiers” west of the villages of Berdychi, Semenivka and Novomykhailivka in a bid to prevent casualties.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armored personnel carrier in a field near Chasiv Yar, Donetsk, on April 27, 2024, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Genya Savilov | Afp | Getty Images

Russia had deployed four brigades in these areas as it launched offensives, Syrskyi said, and while it had achieved some tactical successes, it not yet achieved any “operational advantages.”

Syrskyi said the situation was dynamic, with individual positions changing “from hand to hand” several times during the day, saying this “gives rise to an ambiguous understanding of the situation.”

Intense battles have been taking place in the Chasiv Yar area, near Bakhmut in Donetsk, with Syrskyi saying the area remains one of the “hottest” spots in the war. Ukrainian officials believe Russian forces want to seize the town, which stands on higher ground, offering a strategic advantage, before May 9 the date when Russia celebrates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.

Russian forces appear to be looking to take advantage of Ukrainian forces’ shortage of supplies of weapons and ammunition before much-needed U.S. supplies arrive following the approval of a $61 billion aid package.

Syrskyi noted that Russian forces were “trying to take advantage of its advantage in air, missiles and the number of artillery ammunition.”

— Holly Ellyatt

Russian officials threatened the West on Sunday with a “severe” response in the event that frozen Russian assets are confiscated, promising “endless” legal challenges and tit-for-tat measures.

Full Moon rises over Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow, Russia on July 3, 2023. 

Anadolu | Anadolu | Getty Images

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Russia would never cede territories seized from Ukraine in exchange for the return of frozen assets, while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a separate comment that there was still a lot of Western money in Russia which could be targeted by Moscow’s counter-measures.


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