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Russia has up to 25,000 troops trying to storm Chasiv Yar area, Kyiv says

Reuters WORLD
Published April 23,2024

Russia has a force of 20,000-25,000 troops trying to storm the eastern Ukrainian town of Chasiv Yar and surrounding villages, Ukraine's military said on Monday, describing the situation in the area as difficult.

Ukraine has full control of Chasiv Yar, which lies on strategic high ground in the partially-occupied Donetsk region, but Kyiv's top commander has said Russia wants to capture the town by May 9 when it marks Soviet Victory Day in World War Two.

"The situation around the town is difficult, however the situation is controllable... Our defenders are both receiving reinforcement and stabilising the line," said Nazar Voloshyn, a spokesman for the eastern military command.

"It's somewhere around 20,000-25,000 Russian servicemen trying to storm Chasiv Yar and the outskirts of settlements near it," he said in televised comments on public broadcaster Suspilne.

The capture of Chasiv Yar would bring Russia closer to two strategically important cities under Ukrainian control, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

Russia has already been inching forward, but long-delayed U.S. military assistance is expected to reach Ukraine relieving critical ammunition shortages in a matter of days following its expected final approval this week.

"It is difficult for our soldiers, but receiving the necessary assistance will even out the situation," President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Telegram.