TE24 International Desk:
MADRID / KIEV – Russia on Thursday launched its offensive in eastern Ukraine after NATO identified Moscow as the biggest “direct threat” to Western security and agreed to a plan to modernize Kiev’s overwhelming military.
Ukrainian authorities say they are trying to evacuate the occupiers from the eastern city of Lisichansk, the epicenter of the Russian offensive, where about 15,000 people were in constant shelling.
“The war continues. The Russians are in an all-out attack mode. There is no relaxation,” Sergei Gaidai, the regional governor, told Ukrainian TV.
“Without question, everything is being shot.”
In the South Kherson district, Ukrainian forces are retaliating with their own gun attacks, Ukrainian presidential guide Oleski Arestovich said in a video posted on the web.
Overwhelmed by Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and the resulting international turmoil on Wednesday, NATO welcomed Sweden and Finland to join and promised a seven-overlay increase in combat power on its eastern edge from 2023.
In response, President Vladimir Putin said Russia would establish NATO bases in Finland and Sweden, assuming they would sign off on a US-led military partnership.
Russian news agencies quoted Putin as saying that joining NATO would create tensions in Moscow’s relations with Helsinki and Stockholm.
U.S. President Joe Biden has announced more land, ocean and air force-based armed forces across Europe, from Spain in the west to Romania in the west and Ukraine’s Poland.
These are reminiscent of a highly sustainable armed forces base camp for Poland with troops – sending the main full-time U.S. to the eastern edge of NATO.
“President Putin’s confrontation with Ukraine has broken the harmony in Europe and created the biggest security emergency in Europe since World War II,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference.
“NATO has responded with strength and solidarity,” he said. England has said it will provide another িয়ন 1 billion ($ 1.2 billion) in military aid to Ukraine, including air defense infrastructure, crewless aeronautical vehicles and new electronic fighting hardware.
While 30 NATO pioneers were meeting in Madrid, Russian forces stepped up attacks on Ukraine, including rocket attacks and shelling of the South Mykolive locale near the Black Sea.
The chairman of the city of Mykolaiv said a Russian rocket had killed as many as five people in a private structure there, while Moscow said its forces had hit a base for the preparation of unidentified mercenaries locally.
There was a relentless battle around the town of Ridge in Lysichansk, which Russian forces are trying to encircle as they try to capture the industrialized East Donbass district for the benefit of dissident mediators. Donbas includes Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
A video circulated in Russia’s RIA state news office shows former U.S. fighter Alexander Druk, who was captured while fighting for Ukrainian power.
“My war insight here was a one-day mission,” said Druk from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with hints at the day he captured Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine. “I didn’t shoot a shot. I believe what I do or don’t get will be considered.”
President Volodymyr Zelensky told NATO that Ukrainian forces needed more weapons and cash and to break Russia’s vast edge with faster, gun and rocket capabilities, and said Moscow’s aspirations did not stop in Ukraine.
The Russian offensive, which began on February 24, has devastated urban areas, killing thousands and forcing millions to flee. Russia has said it wants an “extraordinary military operation” to free Ukraine from dangerous patriots. Ukraine and the West blame Russia for snatching an incompetent, monarchical style of land.
Top U.S. intelligence official Avril Haynes said Wednesday that the most likely near-term situation is a catastrophic conflict where Moscow not only gains momentum, but fails to make any jumps toward occupying a large part of Ukraine.
As a sign of approval for the sharp severance of relations with Russia since the attack, a NATO deployment, considering Russia as “the biggest and most direct threat to the security of its partners”, recently ordered it as a “necessary ally.”
NATO has set a record for another strategic concept, first launched in 2010, stating that “Ukraine’s energy fields are essential for the security of the Euro-Atlantic region.”
With this in mind, NATO has agreed to a bundle of financial and military guidelines for the massive modernization of Ukraine’s Soviet-era military.
“We stand firmly with the Ukrainian government authorities and individuals in the heroic guard of their country,” the ambassador said. Stoltenberg said NATO had confirmed