Ukraine Retakes Orlivka - Putin Addresses The Russian Nation

World » UKRAINE | February 29, 2024, Thursday // 13:00
Bulgaria: Ukraine Retakes Orlivka - Putin Addresses The Russian Nation

In a significant development on the eastern front, Ukrainian forces have successfully reclaimed control of the village of Orlivka, situated west of Avdiivka, from Russian troops. Despite this victory, the overall situation in the region remains challenging, as reported by Reuters.

Orlivka's liberation comes shortly after Russian forces seized the strategic town of Avdiivka in a prolonged offensive, advancing further along several areas of the front line. Ukrainian Army Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi highlighted the ongoing difficulties, particularly emphasizing the tense atmosphere around Avdiivka and Zaporizhzhia.

According to Syrskyi's Telegram statement, Russian assault units are actively engaged in offensive maneuvers across various fronts, aiming to capture key villages including Tonenke, Semenivka, Berdichi, and Krasnohorivka. Syrskyi also acknowledged certain deficiencies in situational awareness among some commanders, affecting defense resilience in specific areas.

To address these challenges, Syrskyi affirmed that measures have been taken to bolster ground forces, including the provision of additional ammunition, resources, and reinforcements.

In another development, the Ukrainian Air Force reported the downing of a Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber, marking another success in their aerial defense efforts. Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk expressed gratitude for the achievements of his subordinates, highlighting the crucial role of air superiority in achieving victories on land.

This recent victory adds to Ukraine's tally of downed Russian aircraft, with a total of five Su-34s and two Su-35s brought down since February 17. As the conflict in Eastern Europe persists, Ukrainian forces continue to demonstrate resilience and determination in defending their territory against Russian aggression.

According to statements from Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ikhnat, as reported by Ukrinform, the Ukrainian Air Force has demonstrated the capability to engage and shoot down Russian aircraft at considerable distances. This has resulted in a change in tactics from Russian pilots, who are now less inclined to fly in close proximity to Ukrainian airspace, reducing the risk of being targeted. Ikhnat highlighted that Russian pilots are now forced to take greater risks by flying closer in order to launch guided missiles, increasing their vulnerability to Ukrainian air defense systems.

Ikhnat emphasized that the increased risks undertaken by Russian pilots have led to situations where their aircraft are being shot down. He also pointed out that the absence of A-50 surveillance aircraft in the airspace has contributed to the successful engagement of Russian long-range aircraft by Ukrainian forces.

Putin's Address: Defending Russian Sovereignty in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual address to the country today, ahead of the upcoming presidential election in which he is expected to secure victory, according to reports from world news agencies.

Addressing lawmakers and senior officials in a televised speech broadcast nationwide, Putin emphasized Russia's commitment to defending its sovereignty and protecting its citizens in Ukraine. He paid tribute to Russian soldiers, honoring those who lost their lives in the neighboring country.

Putin, 71, who is running as an independent candidate in the March 15-17 presidential elections, relies on the tight grip he has maintained over Russia's political landscape during his 24-year tenure. Critics of the president, including prominent figures like recently deceased Alexei Navalny, have either faced imprisonment or live in exile, while independent media outlets are heavily restricted.

The death of Navalny, Russia's leading opposition figure, earlier this month, has sparked controversy, with his funeral scheduled for tomorrow. Putin's path to re-election appears clear, with token opposition from candidates associated with Kremlin-friendly parties.

Putin reiterated his rationale for sending troops to Ukraine in February 2022, stating it was to safeguard Russian interests and prevent perceived threats to its security, particularly regarding Ukraine's potential NATO membership. While Putin expressed willingness to negotiate an end to the conflict, he emphasized Russia's determination to maintain its territorial gains.

Acknowledging the progress made by Russian troops in recent weeks, Putin highlighted their advancements against Ukrainian forces, which have faced challenges due to defensive positions and ammunition shortages.

Putin cautioned Western nations against escalating tensions, warning of the risk of nuclear conflict if they intervene militarily in Ukraine. He emphasized Russia's readiness to defend itself and its strategic advantages, including advanced weapons systems like hypersonic missiles.

Asserting Russia's economic strength and popular support for his policies, Putin underscored the nation's resilience and determination amid external pressures. He accused Western powers of attempting to undermine Russia's stability and affirmed Russia's sovereignty over its internal affairs.

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Tags: Ukraine, Russian, Orlivka, Putin

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