As war enters bloody new phase, Ukraine again calls for more weapons

Ukraine war, ukraine and russia war

Russian forces bombarded several towns in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, destroying an airport and damaging several civilian targets, as the war careens toward a pivotal new phase. The shift of the war and fears of full-scale military confrontation on open terrain prompted Ukrainian officials to again call for Western alliances to step up weapons supply efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s position on the battlefield.

Ukraine is preparing for a “massive attack in the east,” its ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, warned Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Of the Russian forces, she said: “There are so many of them and they still have so much equipment. And it looks like they’re going to use all of it. So we are preparing for everything.”

Military analysts have been predicting the movement of the war toward the eastern border that Ukraine shares with Russia in an area known as Donbas. The energy-rich region includes territory where pro-Russian forces have been battling the Kyiv government since 2014.

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, cautioned that although leaders have been trumpeting success in driving Russian forces out of Kyiv, “Another battle is coming, the battle for Donbas," he said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The expected Russian offensive could resemble World War II, Kuleba recently told NATO, with large military maneuvers involving thousands of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and aircraft. With the atrocities mounting in Ukraine, calls have grown to provide the country with offensive weapons that would allow forces to strike inside Russia. Several foreign allies, including the United Kingdom, have pledged new weapons shipments in recent days to help Ukraine in what is expected to be a tougher battle ahead.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on CBS’s “60 Minutes” again called on Western countries to step up in providing arms. “They have to supply weapons to Ukraine as if they were defending themselves and their own people,” he said in an interview recorded Wednesday and broadcast Sunday. “If they don’t speed up, it will be very hard for us to hold on against this pressure.”

Zelensky urged even tougher sanctions against Russia and warned that Western nations shouldn’t be lulled into complacency thinking that they had staved off World War III by not intervening further.

“I think that today no one in this world can predict what Russia will do. If they invade further into our territory, they will definitely move closer and closer to Europe,” he said. “They will only become stronger and less predictable.”

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