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Russian Forces Advance In Eastern Ukraine, Ukraine Claims Air Victories

Medics of volunteer battalion "Hospitallers" speak to an injured servicemen inside a medical bus during evacuation to safe area, in Donetsk region, Ukraine, on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Alex

Russian forces are intensifying their efforts to capture more Ukrainian towns and villages in eastern and southeastern Ukraine, as reported by Kyiv officials on Thursday. Despite facing a strong offensive from Russia, Ukraine has managed to shoot down 11 Russian warplanes in less than two weeks.

As the conflict enters its third year, Russian forces are employing heavy artillery and troop numbers to break through Ukrainian defensive lines. While Russia's progress has been slow and costly, Ukraine is struggling due to a lack of reservists and a severe shortage of artillery shells, with dwindling military aid from Western allies.

Ukraine's army chief revealed that Russian forces are targeting towns like Tonenke, Orlivka, Semenivka, Berdychi, and Krasnohorivka in the Donetsk region. These areas were identified as new defensive positions after Ukrainian troops withdrew from Avdiivka on Feb. 17. In the Zaporizhzhia region, Russian forces are focusing on recapturing Verbove and Robotyne, towns previously reclaimed by Ukraine in a counteroffensive last summer.

Ukrainian military leadership has criticized some commanders for misjudging the enemy and failing to take appropriate countermeasures. The air force commander reported that Ukrainian units shot down two Russian Su-34 jets, bringing the total number of downed warplanes to 11 since Feb. 17.

Ukraine struggles with artillery shell shortage and lack of reservists.
Russian forces targeting Ukrainian towns in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions.
Ukrainian troops withdraw from Avdiivka, establishing new defensive positions.
Russian forces focus on recapturing towns Verbove and Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia region.
Ukrainian military criticizes commanders for misjudging the enemy.
Ukraine seeks additional military assistance, facing delays in U.S. aid approval.
Eight Ukrainian civilians, including a 6-year-old girl, killed in recent attacks.

Ukraine is seeking additional military assistance from its partners, with U.S. national security funds for Ukraine currently on hold due to a political dispute in Washington. Ukrainian officials have urged U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson to expedite the approval of the Biden administration's proposal to send $60 billion in aid to Ukraine.

Tragically, eight Ukrainian civilians, including a 6-year-old girl, lost their lives, and at least 12 individuals were injured in the southeast over the past 24 hours, according to the Ukrainian president's office.

For more updates on the war in Ukraine, visit AP's coverage.

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