Ukrainian troops on the frontline in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, April 11, 2024 (Alex Babenko/AP)

Saturday’s Coverage: US and UK Sanction Russia’s Metal Producers

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Two civilians were killed by a Russian strike on the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine on Saturday.

The attack destroyed a house in the village of Vesele. The bodies of a man and a woman were pulled from the rubble.

Air defenses downed all 10 Iran-type drones launched by Russia overnight.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine’s senior officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, are warning of a critical situation on the eastern front as Ukrainian defenders try to hold back Russia’s 25 1/2-month invasion.

The commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s military, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, said on Saturday that “the situation…has deteriorated significantly in recent days”. He cited Russian armored assaults in three directions — towards Lyman, Chasiv Yar, and Pokrovsk — west of Bakhmut, the city in the Donetsk region seized by Moscow’s forces in May 2023.

Zelenskiy echoed, in his nightly address to the nation, that the “situation at the front in some areas is difficult”.

Russia’s gains in Donetsk have been limited since its seizure in mid-February of the town of Avdiivka — only the second town and city captured by Moscow since July 2022.

However, with an advantage of up to 7:1 in artillery and manpower, the Russians have taken several villages and are threatening a breakthrough in Donetsk and in the neighboring Kharkiv region.

In a lengthy analysis, the Institute for the Study of War linked the crisis to the blocking since October of $60.1 billion in US aid by Trumpists and hard-right Republicans.

Ukrainian artillery and air defense shortages resulting from the lack of US security assistance are allowing Russian mechanized forces to make marginal tactical advances, and future Russian mechanized assaults may be able to achieve more significant gains should the US continue to withhold assistance to Ukraine.

Zelenskiy presented the better news of Germany’s commitment of an additional Patriot air defense system to Ukraine, amid Russia’s intense missile and drone assault — including on the country’s second city of Kharkiv — to break energy infrastructure and civilian morale.

He said Ukraine is in negotiations with Germany to secure an additional IRIS-T air defense system, as well as missiles for existing systems.