Russia Says It Advances Near Chasiv Yar in Eastern Ukraine

Russia Says It Advances Near Chasiv Yar in Eastern Ukraine
Gunners from 43rd Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine fire at Russian position with a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer 2C22 "Bohdana", in the Kharkiv region, on April 21, 2024. (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia said on Sunday its forces had advanced towards the town of Chasiv Yar in eastern Ukraine and seized control of the settlement of Bohdanivka, as Kyiv said it urgently needed promised U.S. support to fend off a full-scale offensive.

“Units of the Southern grouping group of forces have fully liberated the settlement of Bohdanivka…and have improved the situation along the front line,” Russia’s defense ministry said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.

Control of Bohdanivka, located just to the west of the Russian-held city of Bakhmut, has been in doubt for some time.

The village lies some 5 kilometers (3 miles) east of Chasiv Yar, a heavily fortified hilltop town and forward artillery base for the Ukrainian army, providing protection for some of the area’s largest cities including Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

The Russian report could not be independently verified, and there was no comment from Ukraine regarding Bohdanivka.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, in its daily report, mentioned Bohdanivka as one of a series of villages where it said Ukrainian forces repelled 13 enemy attacks. But it gave no specific details.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his daily video address that he held talks on Sunday with army chief Oleksandr Syrskyi and Defense Minister Rustem Umerov about Chasiv Yar and other hot spots on the frontline.

In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” aired on Sunday, Mr. Zelenskyy urged Washington, where the U.S. House of Representatives has approved a $60 billion in aid for Ukraine, to quickly turn the bill into law and proceed with the transfer of weapons ahead of an anticipated Russian offensive.

“We are preparing (for an offensive),” Mr. Zelenskyy claimed, reiterating Mr. Syrskyi’s warning that Russia aims to capture the Chasiv Yar by May 9, one of Russia’s largest public holidays and which marks Moscow’s victory over Nazi forces in World War II.

Ukraine says it expects Russia to launch a broad offensive in spring and summer after capturing the town of Avdiivka, east of Chasiv Yar, during the winter.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry denied last week that Russia had captured all of Bohdanivka, while acknowledging it had lost some positions in the village in the eastern Donetsk region.

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