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Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine |  – Increases the risk of Russian penetration

Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine | – Increases the risk of Russian penetration

In an interview with America CBS News Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday that Ukrainian forces had managed to repel Russian advances throughout the winter.

– The situation has stabilized. Zelensky said that the situation now is better than it was two or three months ago, when we had a huge shortage of artillery ammunition and various weapons, adding:

-We have never seen a massive counterattack from Russia. The president said they did not succeed.

But despite Zelensky's positive assessment of how things are going on the battlefield this winter: Russia has gradually eaten up more and more Ukrainian territory throughout the winter.

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Russia's progress does not reflect the situation

Research Group and Institute for the Study of War (ISW) He writes She said on Wednesday that Ukraine had difficulty returning Russian forces throughout the winter months. The Institute for the Study of War estimates that since launching its attack last October, Russia has seized 505 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory.

The area of ​​505 square kilometers is five times the size of the municipality of Asker, or slightly smaller than the municipality of Lüdingen in Nordland.

More than a fifth of the territory occupied by Russia since October was won by the Russians after the New Year. Among the areas was the town of Avdijivka, which was bombed and around which fierce battles took place.

However, the marginal increase in the speed of the Russian advance does not reflect the threat to Russian operational success, which could come if US security assistance is persistently delayed, the Institute for the Study of War wrote.

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The group and think tank believe that the physical restrictions imposed on Ukrainians limit the ability of Ukrainian forces to carry out effective defensive operations.

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– It will force Ukraine to set priorities

The lack of equipment also means that the Russians gain greater tactical flexibility in their offensive operations, which could give them gains in the future as well.

The chances of exploiting Ukrainian vulnerabilities will increase if Ukraine continues to lack military materials, at the same time as Ukraine struggles to obtain sufficient manpower, the think tank said.

If Ukraine does not have enough military equipment, it will force the country to prioritize where to use its limited resources, preferably where it matters most, ISW wrote.

– It increases the risk of a Russian breakthrough in other non-priority sectors, and generally makes the front line more fragile than it appears, despite Russia's current low speed of advance.

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Not ready for a new major attack

It seems that the Russians have no plans to take a summer vacation. This worries Zelensky. He told CBS News that Ukrainian forces are not prepared to defend themselves against any new major Russian offensive effort, which is expected to come in May or June of this year.

It is not enough just to stabilize the situation and prepare, because our opponent can sometimes be very happy because we have succeeded in stabilizing the situation, Zelensky said and added:

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-We need help now.