Ukraine Says It Has Repelled Russian Attacks

Russia pours troops into eastern offensive
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2022 9:45 PM CDT
Russia Pours Troops Into Easterh Ukraine Offensive
An injured man walks in the debris of a factory following a Russian bombing in Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine, on Tuesday, April 19, 2022.   (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other officials say Russia is pouring all the troops it can into its offensive in eastern Ukraine—but Ukraine is managing to hold the line, for now. Military chiefs say a Russian offensive south of the city of Izyum failed after heavy losses and Ukrainian troops regained control of the town of Marinka in a counteroffensive, the BBC reports. In a tweet, Britain's Ministry of Defense said Russia has stepped up shelling along the line of control in the Donbas region, but Russian forces' ability to progress is being impacted by the "environmental, logistical, and technical challenges that have beset them so far."

The long-feared offensive began Monday along a front around 300 miles long, stretching from northeast Ukraine to the southeast, and if it succeeds, the offensive "would essentially slice Ukraine in two," the AP reports. In another plea for weapons from the West Tuesday night, Zelensky said Ukraine "would have already ended this war" if "we had access to all the weapons we need." A senior US defense official tells the AP that Russia brought another two combat units to Ukraine over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 78, with an estimated total of 55,000 to 62,000 troops.

The Guardian, citing a European official speaking on condition of anonymity, reports that up to 20,000 mercenaries, many from Libya and Syria, have also been deployed to eastern Ukraine as Russia seeks a quick victory. "These guys are mainly used as a mass against the Ukrainian resistance," the official says. "It’s infantry. They don’t have any heavy equipment or vehicles." In the besieged city of Mariupol, the last Ukrainian defenders are holed up in a massive Soviet-era industrial complex and have rejected demands to surrender. Russian forces have been reportedly using bunker-buster bombs on the complex. (More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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