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Defense Minister Says Lives Are Being Lost Due to Western Military Assistance to Ukraine’s Delays

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Rustan Umerov, Ukraine’s defense minister, said that the country’s soldiers are dying needlessly as a result of Russia’s continuous conflict because half of the Western military assistance to Ukraine has not yet materialized. During his speech at the “Ukraine. Year 2024” symposium in Kyiv, Umerov underlined the vital need of prompt aid shipments while pointing out the considerable difficulties Ukrainian military planners confront.

Speaking to the crowd at the same event, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy disclosed—in what was the first official acknowledgment of losses from Kyiv—that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had died since Russia began its full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022.

Umerov emphasized the pressing need for aid agreements to be fulfilled in order to strengthen Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression, even in the face of celebrations commemorating the war’s second anniversary and promises of ongoing support from Western partners.

At a news conference that followed, President Zelenskyy revealed that four brigades were unable to take part in the nation’s counteroffensive against Russian forces because of delayed equipment supplies, which exacerbated Ukraine’s military difficulties.

In order to address a number of concerns emerging from the battle, such as food security and nuclear weapons, Zelenskyy also announced preparations for an international peace summit to be held in Switzerland later in 2024. He did, however, restate Ukraine’s refusal to engage in direct negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, putting Ukraine’s interests first.

As fighting in eastern Ukraine heats up, Russian forces are still moving westward from Avdiivka, taking control of key locations. Despite obstacles, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan expressed optimism that Ukraine would prevail, highlighting the critical role played by Western assistance.

A Russian drone was spotted during Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s visit to southern Ukraine, highlighting the continued security threats the area faces. Germany also promised to donate an additional 100 million euros in humanitarian help to Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials revealed civilian losses and extensive damage in the provinces of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson amid intensifying conflict, underscoring the catastrophic effects of ongoing Russian shelling and rocket assaults on Ukrainian villages.

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