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As a counteroffensive seems imminent, Ukraine gears up for a fresh phase of the war.

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Ukraine is preparing for a new phase of the war against Russia, with preparations taking place to strike back at Kremlin’s forces. The Ukrainian armed forces have released a slickly produced video showing troops training, swearing an oath and preparing for battle, alongside the caption “The time has come to return what is ours.” Meanwhile, Russian attacks in the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut have decreased, but Ukrainian troops firmly hold the heights overlooking the city from the north and south, as well as a portion of the outskirts of the city. Russian forces are regrouping and trying to strengthen their own capabilities.

As stated by NBC News, Ukraine is gearing up for a new phase of the war with Russia. Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, stated that preparations were underway to strike back at the Kremlin’s forces. He added that the intensifying attacks on the Russian rear supplies were a part of the preparations for the new phase of the war.

Podolyak praised a video posted on Telegram by Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the commander in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, showing Ukrainian troops training, swearing an oath, and preparing for battle. The caption read, “The time has come to return what is ours.” Podolyak called the video “very good” and said it showed that Ukraine was almost ready to start a big operation aimed at the liberation of its territories.

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Meanwhile, in the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar, stated that Russian attacks had decreased. She added that Ukrainian troops “firmly hold” the heights overlooking Bakhmut from the north and south, as well as a portion of the outskirts of the city. However, they had not advanced over the past two days to focus on “other tasks.”

After an intense months-long battle for the city that came to embody Ukrainian resistance, the Kremlin declared full control of the city last week. But officials in Kyiv dismissed the celebrations, insisting that the city was not completely under Russian control and that the battle was far from over.

Russian forces had “made a bet on conducting air strikes and intensive artillery fire,” Maliar said. “The decrease in the enemy’s offensive activity is due to the fact that troops are being replaced and regrouped. The enemy is trying to strengthen its own capabilities.”

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The situation in Ukraine has been tense since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea. Since then, fighting has broken out between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. The conflict has claimed over 13,000 lives and displaced over 1.5 million people.

The United States and its allies have expressed support for Ukraine and have imposed sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine. President Joe Biden has also promised to stand with Ukraine and has expressed concern over the recent Russian military buildup near Ukraine’s border.

The situation in Ukraine remains volatile, with both sides accusing each other of provocations and violations of ceasefires. The world is watching closely as Ukraine prepares for a new phase of the war, hoping that a peaceful resolution can be reached before more lives are lost.

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