Russia: We have taken 403 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory in 2024

Her defense minister today argued that his country has occupied 400 square kilometers of ground in early 2024 “In total, since the beginning of the year, 403 square kilometers of territory of new regions of Russia have passed under our control,” said Minister Sergei Soigu, during a military meeting for Ukraine, according to his ministry. It referred to the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Hersona, Donetsk and Zaporizia, the annexation of which Russia has announced and which it controls only partially. Sergei Soigu said his soldiers continue “to push Ukrainian forces west”. In recent months the Russian army has argued that it occupied several villages and, above all, Avdivika, a city fort of eastern Ukraine in which Ukrainian forces had hooked in one way or another for years. Russian soldiers did not, however, achieve any significant opening, as large sections of the front remain frozen, However, they seem to have benefited from the difficulties faced by the Kiev army, namely the lack of ammunition, recruitment difficulties and the blocking of Western aid. The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) estimated last week that Russia has occupied 505 square kilometers of territory in Ukraine since last October. “Material restrictions” limit Ukrainian soldiers’ ability to “conduct effective defence operations”, the institute noted. He stressed that “the opportunities to exploit Ukrainian vulnerability” will expand as the country faces equipment shortages and has difficulty recruiting new soldiers. Political disagreements, both in Brussels and Washington, delay Kiev’s aid. In the American Congress, a $60 billion package has been blocked for months by the Republican opposition.