Ukraine says combating has “intensified” within the east of the nation as Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed Kyiv’s counteroffensive as a failure.
A high Ukrainian defence official stated on Sunday that Russian forces and Ukrainian troops had been clashing in not less than three areas on the japanese entrance.
Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar stated on Telegram that Russian forces have been attacking within the route of Kupiansk within the Kharkiv area for 2 successive days.
“We’re on the defensive,” Maliar wrote. “There are fierce battles. The positions of either side change dynamically a number of occasions a day.”
Maliar additionally stated that the 2 armies had been pummelling each other across the ruined metropolis of Bakhmut, however that Ukrainian forces had been “step by step transferring ahead” alongside its southern flank.
She stated that Kyiv’s troops had been additionally warding off Russian assaults close to Avdiivka and Marinka.
Al Jazeera’s Assed Baig, reporting from Kostyantynivka, about 20km (12.4 miles) from Bakhmut, stated Maliar’s description of fierce combating and altering positions was “sobering”.
“That’s fairly sincere from the Ukrainian deputy defence minister as a result of what we usually hear is concerning the Ukrainian advances, however what we’re listening to from the Ukrainians is that the Russians are pushing again,” Baig stated.
In an excerpt of an interview printed on Sunday, Putin stated the Ukrainian navy has made no progress in its counteroffensive, which goals to retake occupied territory and seize the initiative in Russia’s full-scale invasion, which is in its seventeenth month.
“All enemy makes an attempt to interrupt by our defences … they haven’t succeeded because the offensive started. The enemy just isn’t profitable,” Putin stated in a clip printed by state broadcaster Rossiya TV reporter Pavel Zarubin.
Ukraine final month started its extremely anticipated counteroffensive after stockpiling Western weapons and build up its offensive forces.
It has, nonetheless, admitted troublesome battles and referred to as on america and different allies to supply long-range weapons and artillery.
Putin additionally stated Russia had a “ample stockpile” of cluster bombs and that Moscow reserved the suitable to make use of them if such munitions had been used in opposition to Russian forces in Ukraine.
In his first feedback on the supply of cluster munitions to Ukraine from the US, Putin stated that Russia has not used cluster bombs in its warfare in Ukraine to date. “Till now, we’ve got not completed this, we’ve got not used it, and we’ve got not had such a necessity,” he stated.
Nonetheless, in April 2022, Russia was accused of utilizing cluster munitions within the Kramatorsk railway station attack, which killed 63 civilians, 9 of them youngsters.
Grain deal expiry looms
Putin has but to announce whether or not Moscow will renew the grain deal that allowed the resumption of Ukrainian exports by the Black Sea, briefly halted when the invasion started in February 2022.
Set to run out late on Monday, the deal was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey and signed by Russia and Ukraine in July 2022 to determine a protected sea hall by way of which Ukrainian agricultural items may attain international markets.
Russia, nonetheless, says obstacles to its personal exports stay, and has threatened to tug out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
On Saturday, the Kremlin stated Russia nonetheless had considerations concerning the deal.
“Vladimir Putin burdened that the obligations … to take away obstacles to the export of Russian meals and fertilisers nonetheless stay unfulfilled,” a Kremlin assertion stated.
“The primary purpose of the deal, specifically the availability of grain to international locations in want, together with on the African continent, has not been applied,” it stated.
UN Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres helps eradicating hurdles to Russia exporting its fertilisers and despatched Putin a letter on the topic on Tuesday.
By guaranteeing the safety of maritime cargo site visitors within the Black Sea – together with inspections to counter arms shipments – the deal has allowed the export of almost 33 million tonnes of grain because it entered into drive on August 1, 2022. Most shipments had been comprised of wheat and maize.
The accord helped carry down costs that had shot larger following Russia’s invasion and keep away from starvation in international locations closely dependent upon imports.