Ukraine sends additional forces to east of country, commander says

Ukraine's military says it is sending in additional forces amid the intensified Russian offensive around the eastern city of Avdiivka.

A Ukrainian commander said in a social media post on Saturday that the military is strengthening the blocking line, setting up additional firing positions, and is using fresh effective forces.

US business magazine Forbes on Sunday reported that Ukraine is reinforcing Avdiivka with "one of the best brigades in the Ukrainian army."

The magazine described it as the "only Ukrainian ground-combat brigade that we know for sure was in reserve in eastern Ukraine as of last week." It added that, "In apparently choosing to stay and fight, Ukrainian forces are accepting enormous risk."
Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy replaced the military's commander-in-chief. The magazine said that in doing so, Zelenskyy may have signaled his intention to fight for Avdiivka, even at high cost.

It remains to be seen whether Ukrainian forces will be able to defend the area, as Russia appears to be pouring in more troops for the offensive.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed his country's economic growth in a meeting with economy-related ministers on Monday.

Putin said the latest data shows the country's GDP growth last year was 3.6 percent, which he said was higher than the global average. He said nationwide economic activity remains high, and that the situation is developing in line with expectations of government officials and experts.
The remarks come at a time when analysts say Russia's economy is relying on oil revenue amid sanctions by Western countries.