A senior Pentagon official said Friday, April 29, that the Russian offensive in Donbass, which is advancing “slowly and unevenly” due to resistance from the Ukrainian military, is behind schedule. “We believe they have fallen behind what they had hoped to achieve,” the senior official, who asked not to be named, told reporters.
“They are at least several days late,” he said. “They are far from connecting” the forces entering through the Kharkiv region, north of Donbass, and those coming from the south of the country, which is one of the goals of the Russian army to absorb the pincers of Ukrainian forces deployed in the front line around the separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Ukrainians retake a village near Kharkiv
Ruska Lozova is a “strategic” village occupied by the Ukrainian army, two months after the Russian occupation, north of Kharkiv, in the east of the country. It has a population of about 5,000 people. A very important place according to the leadership of the ground forces. From this village, the enemy launched targeted fire on civilian infrastructure and housing in Kharkiv. »
The northeastern regions of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city – nearly 1.5 million pre-war residents – are daily bombarded with Russian missiles, causing civilian deaths. The village of Ruska Lozova was liberated after intense bombardment.
Moscow confirms the strike on Kyiv
Russia confirmed on Friday that it had carried out a strike the day before with “high-precision” weapons against Kyiv, amid a visit by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The Russian Defense Ministry said that “the Russian forces destroyed with long-range high-precision weapons the workshops of the Artyom Aerospace Company in the city of Kyiv.”
The head of French diplomacy Jean-Yves Le Drian condemned these “indiscriminate strikes”, and Germany condemned these “inhumane strikes”, which left at least one person dead and four wounded, according to the mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko. A Ukrainian producer from Radio Liberty has been killed, according to this US-funded radio.
Zelensky and Putin invited to the G20
Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced that he had invited his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and confirmed that he had invited the Russian president to attend the G20 summit in Bali in November. Vladimir Putin indicated that he would participate. The United States said it refused to deal with the Russian head of state “as if nothing had happened.”
One American fell, two British “captives”
A 22-year-old former US Marine was killed in Ukraine as he left to fight Russian forces in mid-March, according to family members, and the Pentagon urged US citizens “not to travel” to that country.
The UK-based non-profit organization Presidium Network said on Friday that Russian soldiers had “captured” two British volunteers in Ukraine.
Planned evacuation of civilians from Mariupol
The Ukrainian presidency announced that an “operation” to evacuate civilians holed up in the Azovstal plant besieged by Russian forces in Mariupol was “planned” on Friday.
Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, including dozens of children, are trapped, according to Kyiv, in these huge steel plants, with the last Ukrainian fighters in the city.
British soldiers sent to Eastern Europe
About 8,000 British soldiers will take part in exercises in Eastern Europe this summer alongside NATO soldiers, in a “show of solidarity and strength,” according to British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.