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International

Russia is gearing up for a big new push along a long front line

18:02, Thursday, 28 March, 2024
Russia is gearing up for a big new push along a long front line

The arrival of spring in Ukraine brings two kinds of respite. Warmer weather means that Russia’s frenzied missile and drone attacks on electrical and gas infrastructure will not be quite so unbearable. And with new warmth comes mud, and a month or so in which military movement grows difficult. That should hinder the wave of Russian attacks along the front line that stretches across eastern and southern Ukraine. But it will not last. As spring turns to summer, the fear is that Russia will mount a big new offensive, as it did last year. And Ukraine’s ability to hold it off this time looks much less sure now than it did then. That is why it urgently needs to mobilise more troops and build more robust front-line defences.

Ukrainians understandably blame the world’s politicians for their plight. Busy with the Middle East, forthcoming elections and their own economic woes, Ukraine’s Western allies are distracted. As we report, the decision by Trump-supporting Republicans in Congress to block the Biden administration’s $61bn military package for Ukraine is having an effect at the front line and above Ukraine’s cities. Ukraine’s soldiers are being forced to ration their shells, while Russia outguns them in some places by five to one. More than 150 drones and missiles were launched against Ukraine on just one night last week, but Ukraine is running out of interceptors—especially the ones that can take out the deadliest intruders.

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