(Reuters) – Ukraine needs new weapons and faster deliveries to confront a “very tough” situation of constant attacks by Russian forces in the eastern Donetsk region, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday.
“The situation is very tough. Bakhmut, Vuhledar and other sectors in Donetsk region — there are constant Russian attacks. There are constant attempts to break through our defences,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.
“Russia wants the war to drag on and exhaust our forces. So we have to make time our weapon. We have to speed up events, speed up supplies and open up new weapons options for Ukraine.”
The General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said earlier on Sunday that its forces repelled an attack near Blahodatne in the eastern part of the Donetsk region, while Russia’s Wagner private military group said it took control of the village.
A later military statement made no mention of Blahodatne.
Zelenskiy issued his latest appeal for increased weapons shipments days after Germany and the United States led a list of countries agreeing to supply modern tanks.
Zelenskiy on Saturday said Ukraine needed the U.S.-made ATACMS missile with a range of about 300 km, which Washington has so far declined to supply. A presidential adviser said talks were under way on supplying long-range missiles and a Ukrainian air force spokesman spoke of negotiations on providing aircraft.
In his latest remarks, Zelenskiy Ukraine’s command was committed to ensuring that “our pressure is greater than the occupiers’ capacity to attack” and that meant “maintaining the defence support from our partners”.
“The enemy takes no account of its personnel and despite the extent of the losses is maintaining the intensity of its attacks,” he said.
“Confronting this requires extraordinary resilience and a full awareness by our soldiers that in defending Donetsk region they are defending all of Ukraine.”
(Reporting by Ron Popeski and Nick Starkov)