Zelensky visits front-line city
Ukraine: Russia continues to storm Avdiivka
December 30, 2023, 12:07 a.m
Ukraine is experiencing the heaviest air strikes since the start of the war. At the same time, according to Ukrainian information, Russia is also attacking from the ground. The front-line town of Avdiivka, to which President Zelenskyy is paying a surprise visit, remains at the center of the fighting.
In addition to the heavy bombardment from the air, according to Kiev, Russia also attacked Ukraine with ground troops. However, the Ukrainian General Staff only recorded a comparatively small number of direct clashes with 31 battles. The focus was once again on Avdiivka in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.
President Volodymyr Zelensky paid an unannounced visit to the city, which is surrounded on three sides. “Avdiivka, I visited the positions of the 110th mechanized brigade,” Zelensky wrote on the Telegram online service.
A video showed the Ukrainian president handing out medals to soldiers in front of a sign with the city’s name. “This is one of the most dangerous areas on the front line,” Zelensky added. He personally thanked the soldiers for their commitment and spoke to their superiors about the defense situation and the needs of the armed forces.
Battles in and around Avdiivka
According to the evening situation report, there were three battles in Avdiivka itself and another ten battles in the immediate area. Another focus was the Ukrainian bridgehead on the southern bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region to the south. There, Russian troops unsuccessfully tried nine times to drive the Ukrainians from their positions.
Russia also launched the heaviest air attack on Ukraine – with almost 160 rockets, cruise missiles and drones of various types. According to official information, around 30 people were killed. Ukraine has been fending off a large-scale Russian invasion for more than 22 months.
Biden appeals to the US Congress
In view of the unprecedented Russian air strikes against Ukraine, US President Joe Biden is once again urging Congress to approve further funding for Kiev. “There is far more at stake in this fight than just Ukraine,” he warns. “It affects the entire NATO alliance, the security of Europe and the future of transatlantic relations.”
With its military assistance, the USA helped save many lives, he emphasizes. “But unless Congress acts urgently in the new year, we will be unable to continue delivering the weapons and vital air defense systems Ukraine needs to protect its people. Congress must act, and without further delay.”
Great Britain promised Ukraine more weapons. Hundreds of anti-aircraft missiles will be delivered to support Ukrainian defense capabilities, writes British Defense Minister Grant Shapps on X. According to his department, there are 200 missiles. In view of Russian “barbarism”, the delivery is a clear message that the UK wants to continue to fully support Ukraine, emphasizes Shapps.