- The change in the situation on the battlefield has put the Kremlin in an awkward position, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to get more people to support the war.
- Britain's Defense Ministry said that the Kremlin needed "understaffed and inexperienced units to reach unrealistic goals because of political and professional pressure."
Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands said on Tuesday that they plan to send about 100 remodelled Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine.
Last month, Germany agreed to let more modern Leopard 2 tanks be sent there.
In a joint statement, the defence ministers of the three countries said that sending the Leopard 1s was part of their “efforts to support Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.”
“This will make it much easier for the military to help restore Ukraine’s broken territorial integrity,” the statement said.
Local officials said on Tuesday that Russian airstrikes hit more civilian areas in Ukraine, setting fire to a hospital and damaging five apartment buildings.
Around the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Kyiv, Ukrainian officials heard that Moscow had sent more troops to the east. This makes them think that a new offensive is coming soon.
In a statement posted online, the Kharkiv Oblast State Emergency Service said that shelling led to a fire at a hospital in the city of Vochansk in the northeast on Monday night.
It said that, in addition to the two-story municipal hospital, the attack caused several fires in the city.
Officials say that emergency teams got eight people out of the area before the fire was put out, so no one was hurt.
The area around Kharkiv was taken over by the Russians after an all-out attack that began on February 24. But after retaliatory strikes last year, Ukraine got back in charge.
The expected Russian offensive may try to get back land that Moscow lost in the past.
Ukrainian officials are expecting more attacks in the east and south of the country. This is because the Kremlin is illegally occupying parts of Ukraine where it says its rule is welcome.
The military in Kyiv said that Russian forces were “regrouping” as they tried to break through Ukrainian lines in five areas to the east and northeast.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that Moscow focused its efforts on the towns of Liman, Bakhmut, Avdeevka, and Novopavlivka in the eastern Donetsk province, as well as Kupiansk in Kharkiv.
In Donetsk, the Kremlin kept shelling Vuhladar, a mining town that has been one of its main targets. According to the Ukraine’s presidential office, five residential buildings in the town were destroyed, including one that was built before the war. There were 14,000 people living there.
Pavlo Kirilenko, the governor of the province, says that there are a lot of Russian troops in Donetsk these days.
“Russian army units are still being moved around day and night. “The (Russian) bombardment is getting worse, and the Russians are putting more pressure on us every day,” he said in a statement to Ukrainian TV.
Russia is also planning a big attack on Luhansk, which is north of Donetsk. The governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Haidai, said this on TV.
It said that the number of Russian attacks on the area on Monday and through the night went up by a “huge” amount.
Haidai said, “The occupiers are looking for weak spots and have brought a lot of equipment and thousands of soldiers to the front line.”
The president’s office says that in the last 24 hours, Russian shells have also hit a dozen cities and towns in Kharkiv.
Antonio Guterres, the head of the UN, said he was worried that fighting could get worse as winter ends.
He said in a speech on Monday night that “the chances of peace are getting smaller and smaller” and that “the chance of more fighting and bloodshed is getting bigger.”
The change in the situation on the battlefield has put the Kremlin in an awkward position, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to get more people to support the war. One of the main goals is likely to be taking control of the industrial area of Donbass, which is in the east and near the Russian border.
But some military experts doubt that Moscow will be able to start a new major offensive in the next few weeks. Both Ukraine and Russia are still training new soldiers and stockpiling weapons.
In a report released on Tuesday, Britain’s Defense Ministry said that the Kremlin needed “understaffed and inexperienced units to reach unrealistic goals because of political and professional pressure.”
“It’s likely that Russian leaders will keep demanding crushing progress,” he said. “It’s unlikely that Russia will be able to gather enough troops in the next few weeks to make a big difference in how the war turns out.”
In the meantime, the bombing put pressure on the civilian population of Ukraine in some parts of the country.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Ukraine’s General Staff said that in the last 24 hours, Russia had fired six missiles, done two dozen airstrikes, and attacked 75 civilian targets in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kherson.
Officials say that Russian shelling near the Zaporizhia nuclear plant cut the power to a nearby pumping station, leaving about 60,000 homes without water.