In recent weeks, Russian forces have increased their attacks along a battlefront spanning over 1,200 kilometers. Mariinka and Avdiivka, both key towns near Donetsk, have been focal points of the intensified assault. Simultaneously, Ukrainian forces are working to expand their presence on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had announced plans to mobilize up to 500,000 additional individuals for military service, although Gen Zaluzhnyi denied on Tuesday that the military had made a formal request for a specific number of troops. This call for more personnel comes at a critical time as Ukraine faces an ammunition shortage, exacerbated by aid setbacks from key allies in the US and the EU.
The Ukrainian counter-offensive had slowed down with the onset of winter, leading to concerns that the better-equipped Russian forces could overpower Ukraine. Despite these challenges, there was a positive development for Ukraine on Tuesday. Russia’s defense ministry confirmed that a Ukrainian attack on the port of Feodosiya in occupied Crimea damaged one of its warships, resulting in one casualty.
The head of the Ukrainian Air Force reported that Ukrainian warplanes successfully targeted the landing ship Novocherkassk, a vessel used by Russian forces for transporting troops and heavy equipment. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu briefed President Vladimir Putin on the ship’s damage, declaring that Russian forces had halted Ukraine’s counter-offensive and were now advancing on all fronts. Shoigu, on Russian state TV, had earlier informed Putin that the settlement of Mariinka, located southwest of Donetsk, had been completely liberated by the South group’s assault detachments.