By Matthew Sedacca

Oct. 21, 2023

New York Post


Ukrainian forces ramped up their attacks on Russian-held territory in the south while holding off Moscow’s assaults on the eastern town of Avdiivka, according to military experts and officials.

The Ukrainian military broke through the enemy lines after intensified assaults across the Dnipro River, near the southern city of Kherson.

“Ukrainian actions appear to be larger than previously observed tactical raids,” the think tank Institute for the Study of War said in a report.

In the town of Avdiivka, just nine miles from the Moscow-controlled city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, Kyiv’s forces managed to repel and hold their ground against Russia, which launched relentless assaults there earlier this month, President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed.

“Thanks to all our boys, who powerfully hold the defense and destroy the occupier day after day,” Zelensky said in a video posted on Telegram.

“These days, the Russian losses are really staggering, and it is precisely losses by the occupier that Ukraine needs.”

Ukraine received new support from the United States in the form of long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, which were deployed for the first time this week.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba confirmed to reporters the U.S. would continue to supply Kyiv with the advanced missiles, The Telegraph reported.

Officials have said the ATACMS could help reshape the course of the war by allowing Ukraine’s troops to attack previously unreachable supply lines, air bases and rail networks used by Russia in occupied territories.

“This is a direct result of the agreement between President Zelensky and President Biden, reached in Washington during a personal meeting in late September,” Kuleba said.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry lashed out at the United States for supplying Kyiv with the long-range missile systems, posting on X that this was a clear sign that, “Washington has again demonstrated its desire to escalate the conflict.”

The U.S., however, has started withholding from Ukraine 155 mm artillery shells it has been sourcing from a secret stockpile in Israel since January.

Citing Israeli officials, Axios reported that the Pentagon now plans to supply the Jewish state’s military with the artillery shells to aid in its war with Hamas.

“We are confident we can support both Ukraine and Israel in terms of their defensive needs,” Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesperson, told reporters.

The weapons diversion comes as President Joe Biden has requested nearly $106 billion in funding from Congress, including aid for Ukraine and Israel.