Russia announced that it had shot down a transport plane carrying Western weapons for Ukraine in Odessa province, also Moscow said it had repelled Ukrainian forces from the urban area of Mariupol.
Russian air defense system in Odessa province shot down a Ukrainian transport plane carrying a large amount of Western-aided weapons. Two Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were also destroyed in the Lozovaya and Veselaya regions. “, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said yesterday.
The Russian official did not say what type of plane was shot down and what weapons it was carrying.
Ukraine currently has two main transport lines with large capacity, IL-76 and An-124. These planes are being used by Ukraine to transport weapons to hot spots on the battlefield, they are also directly to Poland and Turkey to deliver weapons to the Ukrainian armed forces.
General Konashenkov also announced that Ukrainian military units, nationalist Azov battalion and foreign mercenaries had been pushed back from the inner city of the southern city of Mariupol.
“Ukrainian troops are under siege at the Azovstal iron and steel plant. The only chance for them to save their lives is to lay down their arms and surrender,” he said.
The Russian military said that radio communication between Ukrainian military units at the Azovstal plant has increased sharply since yesterday.
On April 16 alone, the Russian military intercepted 367 phone calls, in which the Ukrainian defense forces announced that there was no more water and food, and called on their superiors to allow them to surrender.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has not commented on the information being released by the Russian military regarding Mariupol.
Western aid weapons are said to have contributed significantly to helping Ukraine to stop the Russian advance on all battlefields, but can they turn the tide when the conflict has entered a new phase?
When the conflict in Ukraine entered a new phase with the main battlefield being Eastern Ukraine, NATO countries gradually increased their supply of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine.
With that move, the West is crossing the “defensive threshold” that the leaders of these countries set when the crisis first broke out.
The question of whether that increased supply of weapons to Ukraine can avoid Russian retaliation and turn the tide of the war remains a mystery.
It took the Ukrainian military the first six weeks to repel the Russian advance into Kiev and nearby regions like Chernihiv and Sumy with light weapons such as anti-tank missiles.
Now, however, Ukraine faces Russia’s buildup of forces in the east and south, areas where Moscow has gained certain advantages.
But the recent mass deliveries of heavy weapons to Ukraine mark a significant shift in the policy of Western arms supplies to Kiev.
This, however, may not be enough to offset the estimated 94 tanks and hundreds of armored vehicles that Ukraine has lost since the beginning of the conflict, researchers at Oryx say.
“If we had had what we needed in the first place, all these fighters, tanks, artillery, anti-aircraft weapons, missile defense, we could have saved thousands of lives,” he said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.
According to experts, the increase in Western weapons supply can help Ukraine cope with the second stage of Russian attacks, but it was not until the end of April that the military balance became clear.
In particular, without additional tanks, it is difficult for Ukraine to regain complete control of the strategic port city of Mariupol.
Shipments from the Biden administration’s latest security assistance package to Ukraine “have begun to arrive,” a White House official told CNN on April 16.
US President Joe Biden this week approved an $800 million package of security assistance, weapons and ammunition for Ukraine.
The United States agreed to provide Kiev with heavy weapons for the first time, as several Biden administration officials warned a few weeks ago of a huge risk of escalation in the conflict in Ukraine, including 11 planes. Mi-17 helicopter; 18 155 mm Howitzer cannons and 300 Switchblade drones, 300 armored vehicles.
This $800 million shipment brings the total amount of military assistance the US has provided to Ukraine to more than $3 billion.
If Russia does not block the abundant supply of weapons from the West, the battlefield in Ukraine will continue to be fiercer in the near future when Kiev decides to resist to the end, while Moscow needs victories to achieve its goals. of the special military campaign that was proposed after suffering heavy losses.