Russian commander gives insight into struggles in Ukraine

Ukraine: Drones fly directly over Kyiv

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A Russian commander has made unusual admissions about the state of affairs for his forces in Ukraine. Despite Putin’s efforts, he is struggling to make progress in the country almost eight months after his “special military operation” commenced.

The new commander revealed they have been under pressure from President Zelensky’s offensives to retake areas in the south and east previously claimed by Moscow.

He also announced on Tuesday an “organised, gradual displacement” of residents from four towns along the Dnipro river, suggesting further violence may take place.

Russian air force general Sergei Surovikin told the state-owned Rossiya 24 news channel: “The situation in the area of the ‘Special Military Operation’ can be described as tense.

“The situation in this area (Kherson) is difficult. The enemy is deliberately striking infrastructure and residential buildings in Kherson.”

Moscow’s forces have been driven back around 20-30 kilometres (13-20 miles) in the last few weeks and are in danger of being pushed against the Dnipro river.

This body of water stretches across the country for 2200 kilometres.

Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Russian-installed council governing Zaporizhzhia, said Ukraine had also targeted the town of Enerhodar with intense shelling.

Enerhodar is also home to many employees of the Zaporizhzhia power plant, which sits inside one of the regions annexed by Russia.

The regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, as well as Luhansk and Donetsk, have been proclaimed by Moscow as Russian territory, yet they only partly occupy them.

Putin claimed the regions as part of Russia following referendums held last month, although Ukraine and other Western powers have denounced them as “illegal and coercive”, reported Reuters.

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This comes as the US, UK and France are planning to raise the issue of Iranian arms transfers to Russia at a UN Security Council closed-door meeting on Wednesday.

Kyiv has said that Tehran have been supplying drones to Moscow, a claim which Iran denies.

President Zelensky described Putin’s reliance on Iranian weapons as making his country “bankrupt in military and political terms”.

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