Ukraine faces 'extremely difficult' frontline battles: Zelensky

Ukrainian troops, reeling from the loss of a key town, now face "extremely difficult" conditions all along the frontline with Russia because of delayed foreign aid, President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

A heightened Russian offensive in eastern and southern Ukraine saw them capture the key town of Avdiivka last week in a major boost ahead of the second anniversary of the February 2022 invasion.

The Ukrainian military also says it is critically short of ammunition and shells, worsened by the holdup of a $60 billion U.S. aid package.

"The situation is extremely difficult in several parts of the front line, where Russian troops have concentrated maximum reserves," Zelensky said Monday after visiting frontline troops in the Kharkiv region.

Russian troops "are taking advantage of the delays in helping Ukraine," Zelensky added, highlighting shortages of artillery, frontline air defence and longer-range weapons.

 New towns threatened 

U.S. President Joe Biden told Zelensky on Sunday that he was "confident" the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress would approve the critically needed aid.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said Tuesday he also believed Congress would come through after it returned from recess and that his country would "continue our fight" with international support.

"I believe the United States will support Ukraine also, like the European Union, like Japan, like all the G7 countries and the IMF and all international financial organisations," Shmygal told a press conference in Tokyo when asked about "Ukraine fatigue" in the international community.

"So we can't speak about fatigue, because it's an existential war — you can't be fatigued when you're fighting for your future, for...

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