Zelensky says Russian front line attacks increasing

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia was increasing its attacks across the front line, as Kyiv called for the West to boost its weapons supplies ahead of winter.

Neither side has made any significant territorial gain for months, but both Mr Zelensky and the Kremlin have denied the conflict has ground to a stalemate.

“The military reported an increase in the number of enemy assaults,” Mr Zelensky said in a post on social media, saying Russians were attacking around the cities of Donetsk, Kupyansk and Avdiivka.

He has warned Russia is likely to increase air strikes against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure ahead of the winter, as it did this time last year.

Andriy Yermak, Mr Zelensky’s chief of staff, met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington yesterday to press Ukraine’s need to keep the flow of Western weapons coming.

Volodymyr Zelensky the military reported an increase in the number of enemy assaults

“As winter approaches, we expect the Russian missile terror to intensify,” Mr Yermak said in a post on Telegram after the meeting.

“Therefore, we are in dire need of air and missile defence systems that will protect Ukrainian cities, key critical infrastructure facilities, and grain corridor routes,” he said.

Mr Zelensky called Russian rocket and artillery strikes on the city of Kherson “revenge” and said they were “without any military necessity”.

Russian hits on Kherson, which Ukraine retook from Russian forces one year ago, killed three people and wounded at least 12 yesterday, Ukrainian officials said.

Germany says EU won’t hit one million shell target

Germany’s defence minister said the EU will not hit a one-year target of sending a million artillery shells to Ukraine, as the bloc struggles to secure arms supplies for Kyiv.

The European Union pledged last year to deliver the desperately needed ammunition to Ukraine by March 2024 to help Kyiv battle against Russia’s invading forces.

So far, EU nations have only managed to provide 300,000 rounds from their existing stocks.

Countries are now placing joint orders for 155-millimetre shells but there are doubts over the capacity of defence companies to churn out enough in time.

“Unfortunately, the cautionary voices are now right,” German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said at a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels.

“The one million will not be reached. We have to assume that.”

EU officials insist it is still too early to say the target will not be hit, despite growing scepticism it can be attained.

Boris Pistorius has suggested that the target will not be met

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said a major issue was that European defence firms were exporting about 40% of production to other countries.

“Maybe what we have to do is to try to shift his production to the priority one, which is Ukrainian. That would be quite a change,” he said.

EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton said efforts to ramp up production were having an impact and the EU should be able to churn out a million shells a year.

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