Zelensky warns of Ukraine's defeat given the difficult situation

Given the difficult situation of his army in the east of the country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned of a defeat for his country. With regard to the lack of further military aid from the USA, Zelensky said at a video conference organized by United24, a government fundraising initiative: “If Congress does not help Ukraine, Ukraine will lose the war.” Meanwhile, the military continued to find itself in trouble near the town of Chassiv Yar.

“Without the support of Congress, it will be difficult for us to win or even survive as a country,” Zelensky emphasized in his speech, which was broadcast on online networks. Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia, is suffering from a shortage of ammunition at the front due to the delays.

Zelensky also reiterated his warning that if his country were defeated, “other states would be attacked.”

The US has been Kiev's main military supporter since the Russian invasion in February 2022. But since last year, Republicans in Congress have been blocking a new Ukraine aid package worth $60 billion (around 55 billion euros) under pressure from former US President Donald Trump, who wants to run for re-election in November. The US Congress meets on Monday for its first session after the spring break.

On the battlefield, the Ukrainian army says it is under massive pressure from Russian invasion troops. The situation near the city of Chasiv Yar, which has been hotly contested for weeks, is “quite difficult and tense,” said spokesman for the 26th Artillery Brigade, Oleh Kalashnikov, on Ukrainian television on Sunday.

According to brigade spokesman Kalashnikov, the army around Chassiv Yar has so far managed to push back all Russian attacks and Moscow's troops are “in retreat.” The Russian enemy is trying to attack the surrounding towns of Bohdanivka and Ivanivske directly and at the same time carry out offensive actions between these two towns.

Chasiv Yar, located in the Donetsk region, appears to be the next big target for Moscow's army. The strategically important small town is located a few kilometers west of Bakhmut, which Russia captured last May after months of fierce fighting.

According to the mayor, only 770 people currently live in Chassiv Yar; the pre-war population was around 13,000. If Russian forces succeed in conquering the area, they could expand their attacks on the Kyiv-controlled city of Kramatorsk in Donbass, 30 kilometers further southeast.

Kramatorsk is the region's most important city under Ukrainian control – and an important railway junction central to the army's logistics.

The city of Kharkiv in the east of the country came under heavy Russian fire again at the weekend. According to Ukrainian authorities, at least seven people were killed and twelve others injured in attacks with rockets and drones on Saturday.

Ukraine is attacked from Russia almost every night, and the city of Kharkiv near the border is particularly often targeted by Russian troops. Ukrainian authorities regularly call on Western allies to supply more air defense systems, including modern Patriot systems from the United States. President Zelensky reiterated this demand after the renewed attacks on Kharkiv.

According to the Defense Ministry in Moscow, Russia intercepted 15 Ukrainian drones on Sunday in the Belgorod and Bryansk regions bordering Ukraine. According to Belgorod Region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, a woman was killed by shrapnel during the drone strikes.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is occupied by Russian troops, was hit by a Ukrainian drone, according to Russian information. The Ukrainian army attacked the dome of the power plant block, the Moscow-controlled power plant administration said in online networks. However, no radioactivity was released. According to the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom, the power plant canteen was hit and an employee was seriously injured.