Zelensky says Russia’s military supply lines are slowing down as fierce fighting continues on Ukraine frontline

By Isaac M December 22, 2023

Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukrainian intelligence is showing a noticeable slowdown in Russia’s military-industrial complex, almost 22 months after Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion.

Speaking in his nightly address, the Ukrainian president cited a report by HUR, the country’s military intelligence agency. “Today there was a separate report by the Main Intelligence Directorate. The enemy’s plans, the work of the Russian defence industry – there are signals that they are slowing down. We will help them to slow down even more.”

The Ukrainian president did not provide further details on a possible cause for the slowdown, whether tactical or a result of sustained pressure after a particularly intensive period of fighting on the battlefield.

The latest battlefield report from the General Staff of the Ukrainian military on Thursday evening did not mention any signs of a let-up in the fierce Russian attacks along the 1,000km (600 mile) frontline.

At least 30 attacks from Russian forces were repelled near Avdiivka and a further 11 were fought back around Maryinka in eastern Ukraine in the past 24 hours alone, the update said. The two regions have emerged as the biggest priorities for Russian forces trying to make territorial gains since autumn.

Another seven attacks from Russia were repelled around Bakhmut.

This comes as US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Russian troops will be able to launch attacks against Ukraine more easily in the coming weeks once colder temperatures have frozen the ground solid, allowing for more rapid maneuvres of mechanised forces.

Russia intends to continue its offensive operations, particularly in Avdiivka, the White House official said, adding that these will most likely pick up through January and into February.

“The fall mud season has hampered ground manoeuvre for both Ukrainian and Russian forces since 2014, but periods of prolonged freezing temperatures that typically start in late December freeze the ground and allow armoured vehicles to move more easily than in muddy autumn and spring months,” the US based think-tank Institute for the Study of War said, confirming the White House’s assessment.

It added that the Russian forces will likely try to sustain or intensify these offensive operations regardless of weather conditions this winter, as they did last year.

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