Friday, December 16, 2022

Ukrainian Troops May Be Massing For Their Fourth Counteroffensive. Russian Artillery Is Already Trying To Stop Them; Ukraine Wins New Aid Pledges as Blasts Strike Russian-Occupied Melitopol; US prepping to send Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine; UKR's MFA on Explosions in Russia: "Let Russians Draw Their Own Conclusions", LIVE UPDATES and MORE

FORBES: Ukrainian Troops May Be Massing For Their Fourth Counteroffensive. Russian Artillery Is Already Trying To Stop Them:
Russian and Ukrainian forces recently swapped artillery around Hulyaipole and Polohy in southern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Oblast, 65 miles northeast of Russian-occupied Melitopol.
Artillery-on-artillery “counterbattery” battles aren’t uncommon as Russia’s wider war on Ukraine grinds into its 10th month.
What’s special about the Dec. 9 artillery duel is what reportedly instigated it. According to Russian sources, the Ukrainian army is massing mechanized forces around Hulyaipole.
If that’s true, it could be a sign that Ukraine’s fourth counteroffensive might be imminent, despite the onset of winter. This widely-anticipated attack—the Zaporizhzhia left hook—would aim to liberate much of southern Ukraine and push Ukrainian troops all the way to the narrow neck of land connecting mainland Ukraine to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russian forces seized in 2014.
Russian troops at present are thin on the ground in Zaporizhzhia. But then, so are Ukrainian troops. The sector along the Hulyaipole-Polohy axis since this spring has been the haunt of separate brigade-size Russian and Ukrainian units.
On the Russian side: the 291st Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment, which on paper has a couple thousand soldiers and scores of armored vehicles.
On the Ukrainian side: the 106th Territorial Defense Brigade, a lightly-equipped formation with a few thousand volunteers from the local area. The 19th Separate Rifle Battalion, a 400-strong active-army unit, reinforces the territorial brigade. --->READ MORE HERE
WSJ: Ukraine Wins New Aid Pledges as Blasts Strike Russian-Occupied Melitopol:
Explosions damaged a bridge used by Russian forces, and Kyiv received promises of more than €1 billion to help weather winter
Ukraine garnered pledges for fresh aid to help it ride out the winter months after explosions rocked a bridge in the country’s east used by Russian forces to transport military hardware to the front lines of the conflict.
Delegates from dozens of countries and international institutions gathered in Paris on Tuesday and pledged more than 1 billion euros, equivalent to around $1.05 billion, in aid to Ukraine, according to French officials. Delegates discussed ways to provide urgent access to water, food, energy, transport and healthcare in Ukraine throughout the winter, French officials said.
The pledges came in response to months of Russian missile and drone attacks that have targeted Ukraine’s electrical grid and left millions of Ukrainians in the dark as winter sets in.
Hours earlier, Ivan Fedorov, the exiled Ukrainian mayor of the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol, said a bridge linking the city to the nearby village of Kostiantynivka had been attacked. “It was this bridge that the occupiers were using to transport military equipment from the Eastern front,” Mr. Fedorov said in a post on the Telegram messaging channel. “I am warning you. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are near. You will run away without looking back!”
The Russian-controlled regional administration said the supports of the bridge were damaged as a result of an explosion, causing the road bed to sag. Officials in the city described the incident as “an act of sabotage.” Both car and pedestrian traffic were suspended on the bridge as emergency services worked at the site,
The blasts in Melitopol show that Ukraine is determined to continue attacks on Russian forces and infrastructure used by the Russian military even as winter sets in. Western officials have warned that freezing conditions are expected to slow the pace of the conflict and delay further advances by Ukrainian forces in the east. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

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