(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine appealed for more weapons, along with continued US support, to build on successes over the weekend in liberating territory from Russian control in the Kharkiv region.
Ukrainian armed forces also need armored vehicles and tanks “to get our victory as soon as possible,” Ihor Zhovkva, deputy chief of staff to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, told Bloomberg Television. US support is crucial, the country’s president told CNN.
Russia has likely ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the occupied Kharkiv Oblast west of the Oskil River, according to the UK ministry of defense. Ukraine’s top commander said his forces had taken back 3,000 square kilometers (1,158 square miles) of lost territory since the beginning of September.
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On the Ground
Russian forces are trying to undermine gains achieved by Ukraine’s counteroffensive and restore lost positions, Ukraine’s General Staff said in its regular update. More than 30 settlements, including Kramatorsk and Dnipro, were affected by Russian missile and air strikes in the past 24 hours, according to the statement. Ukrainian troops continued to liberate settlements in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, and inflicted significant losses on Russian forces on the Kherson axis, according to the report.
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Blinken Cites ‘Progress’ in Counteroffensive (4:50 a.m.)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Ukraine had made “significant progress” in its counteroffensive, but cautioned that it was “too early to tell exactly where this is going.”
Blinken, speaking to reporters in Mexico City on Monday evening after a conference involving US and Mexican officials, said Ukraine’s latest military campaign was “very methodically planned out, and, of course, has benefited from significant support from the United States and many other countries, in terms of making sure Ukraine has the equipment it needs to prosecute this counteroffensive, which has one clear purpose -- which is to take back land that was seized by Russia’s aggression.”
Blinken added: “We will continue to do what is necessary to support Ukraine.”
Esper Urges US to Send Warplanes, Helicopters (11:30 p.m.)
The US should provide Ukraine with warplanes and helicopters, former Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in an interview on Monday, a move the Biden administration has so far resisted.
“The Ukrainians are really showing that they can do maneuver warfare and that they can take the fight to the Russians,” Esper told Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power With David Westin.” He added: “They’re quick studies, they’re eager and they want to get into the fight so we need to help them out.”
Esper, who ran the Pentagon toward the end of the Trump administration, said the US shouldn’t be so worried about how Russian President Vladimir Putin might respond, and the West standing up to Russia would send a strong message to China amid growing tensions over Taiwan. In the past, officials have fretted that providing aircraft to Ukraine or enforcing a no-fly zone could broaden the conflict. “‘We should do what’s right, support the Ukrainians -- and look, they can win this war,” Esper said.
Zelenskiy Says Continued US Support Is Key (5:20 p.m.)
“I want to believe that bipartisan support for Ukraine will remain,” Zelenskiy said in the CNN interview. “It is important to us. We are fighting, we cannot allow the world to weaken the support for Ukraine.”
The Ukrainian army will continue moving ahead, Zelenskiy said. Negotiations are only possible after Russian troops leave Ukraine.
Ukraine Aide Says More Weapons Needed to Expand on Latest Successes (4:50 p.m.)
“We need more weaponry. We need more artillery. Artillery matters when starting those kind of campaigns,” Zhovkva, the deputy chief of staff to Zelenskiy, said in the Bloomberg TV interview. “We need ammunition, necessary ammunition for the western artillery and for the old Soviet artillery.”
IAEA Says Nuclear Plant ‘Stabilized’ After Unit 6 Shutdown (2:02 p.m.)
The Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant completed the process for shutting down its sixth and remaining active reactor early Monday, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said. The so-called cold shutdown came as the agency begins talks with Russia and Ukraine about creating a security zone around the plant, which has been targeted by increased shelling since July.
“I have seen signs they are interested in the agreement,” Grossi said at a press briefing in Vienna. A security zone would stop short of establishing a fully demilitarized area, but would seek to curtail the attacks.
Kremlin Vows to Continue Offensive (12:52 p.m.)
Putin’s spokesman brushed off the Russian retreat in the northeast of Ukraine and said that Russia will pursue its assault in the neighboring country.
The military campaign in Ukraine “will continue until the goals that were originally set are achieved,” Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.
Germany Mulls Sending More Weapons to Ukraine (11:53 a.m.)
In view of Ukraine’s latest military push, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has promised to check whether the army will be able to send more weapons to Ukraine. Over the weekend she talked with Bundeswehr General Eberhard Zorn about expanding the support for Ukraine, Lambrecht said in Berlin on Monday. At the same time, she made clear, however, that this shouldn’t happen at the cost of the country’s NATO obligations.
Finance Minister Christian Lindner also said that Germany should consider an enlargement of its military support. “Ukraine must win this war,” Lindner said on Twitter.
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