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27 Nov, 2023 11:35

Ukraine conflict may expand – top military commander

Hostilities could spread beyond the east and south of the country, the general in charge of border defense has told ABC
Ukraine conflict may expand – top military commander

The frontiers of the Ukrainian conflict could expand if Russia continues to increase arms production while Kiev’s troops are deprived of advanced weapons from Western allies, Lieutenant General Sergey Naev told ABC News.

Naev, who is in charge of Ukraine’s northern border defense, said on Saturday that the battle between Ukraine and Russia had become a “resource war,” noting that the reduction of Western military aid will have a serious impact on the defense capabilities of the Ukrainian Army.

He claimed that Russia is getting its resources with the help of North Korea and Iran. He also pointed out that “technology is critical,” warning that if Moscow produces more weapons and improves technologically with the help of its allies, hostilities could spread beyond the east and south of Ukraine.

Iran has denied accusations of supplying Russia with military drones for use in its military operations in Ukraine. However, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian admitted that some drones had been delivered to Russia before the Ukraine conflict escalated in February 2022.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also denied Western allegations of munitions shipments from North Korea to Russia, noting that “they report it all the time, but provide no evidence.”

Since June, Ukraine has been conducting a counteroffensive, but has yet to make any significant gains on the battlefield. In late October, Zelensky told the Times that “nobody” believes in Kiev’s victory as much as he does, while “exhaustion with the war rolls along like a wave.”

Ukrainian troops continue to suffer heavy losses on the front lines. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, as of the end of October, Kiev had lost over 90,000 soldiers killed and wounded since the beginning of its counteroffensive. On Tuesday, Shoigu said that, since the beginning of November alone, Ukraine’s armed forces have lost more than 13,700 personnel and about 1,800 tanks, as well as other heavy weapons.

During an extraordinary G20 summit on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted that Moscow had never refused peace talks with Kiev and that it was in fact Zelensky who signed a decree legally forbidding any such negotiations with Russia.

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