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Russia preparing major offensive in Avdiivka as ground freezes, warns White House

White House National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby has urged the US Congress to approve funding for Ukraine as swiftly as possible.
Ukrainian soldier on the east frontlines. Photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine via Telegram
Russia preparing major offensive in Avdiivka as ground freezes, warns White House

With the arrival of persistent frost in eastern Ukraine, Russia is preparing for a new offensive in Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast, stated White House National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby.

“We have seen that the Russians actually want to conduct offensive operations, particularly in the East, around Avdiivka. We have every reason to believe that as the ground freezes towards the end of January and end of February, that will make it easier for Russian forces to go on the move,” said Kirby. 

He warned that similar to last year, Russia is targeting vital infrastructure in Ukraine, turning winter cold into a weapon against civilians. Urging swift action, Kirby emphasized the need to enhance Ukrainian air defense and called on the US Congress to promptly pass a new aid package for Ukraine.

Previously, the White House has warned that US aid for Ukraine is set to expire by the end of the year. President Joe Biden plans a final military aid package in December, but future assistance hinges on a Congressional agreement with uncertain prospects. 

Senate Republicans recently blocked a $60 billion Ukraine aid bill, linking it to immigration control at the US-Mexico border. Ongoing Senate talks aim to reach a comprehensive deal encompassing aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, plus enhanced border measures. A small group of lawmakers from the two parties and representatives from the Biden administration are trying to hammer out an agreement. 

The US Senate had been scheduled to hold its last day in session for this year, 14 December, but adjusted the schedule to allow for time for further negotiations. The House of Representatives went out of session for the rest of the year but could be called back to vote if a deal is reached.

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