On Thursday, the Russian military expanded their bloody territorial grab in eastern Ukraine, seizing two villages and trying to control a major highway. This offensive could potentially cut supplies lines and surround some frontline Ukrainian troops, according to British and Ukrainian military officers.
Britain’s defense ministry said that Ukrainian forces had withdrawn from some areas near the city of Lysychansk, the latest major battlefield in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, to avoid the possibility of being encircled as Russians sent in reinforcements and concentrated their firepower in the area.
Ukraine’s General Staff said Russian forces took control of the villages of Loskutivka and Rai-Oleksandrivka, and were trying to capture Syrotyne outside Sievierodonetsk, the administrative center of the Luhansk region.
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“The enemy is burning everything out in a bid to encircle the Ukrainian group of forces,” Luhansk Gov. According to Serhiy Haidai, The Associated Press.
“The Russians are advancing without trying to spare the ammunition or troops, and they aren’t running out of either,”Haidai. “They have an edge in heavy artillery and the number of troops.”
“Part of the Luhansk region still remains under Ukrainian control, defying the Russians and causing their fury and desire to burn it to the ground,”He concluded by adding
Russian forces have been destroying Sievierodonetsk for weeks with air strikes and artillery. They also fought house-to-house against the Ukrainian army. Ukrainian forces remain holed up at the Azot chemical plant on the city’s edge, where about 500 civilians were also sheltering.
Haidai said the Ukrainian soldiers were using the plant’s sprawling underground structures, but noted that “the shelling has intensified and even concrete shelters can’t withstand the bombardment.” The Russians are using their entire arsenal — heavy artillery, tanks, aircraft,” he added.
Russians were also waging an attack on Lysychansk. Lysychansk is situated on a steep riverbank facing Sievierodonetsk.
Haidai claimed that Lysychansk was facing an incessant Russian artillery bombardment, which had killed at least one civilian as well as wounded three others within the past 24 hours. He noted that Russians had more than 100 multi-rocket launchers. “pummel entire blocks.”
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“The Russian army is ‘liberating’ Sievierodonetsk from life and workplaces,” he said in a sarcastic reference to Russia’s stated goal of the “liberation”Donbas.
According to U.K. Ministry of Defense, Russian forces likely have advanced more than 5 km (three miles) toward the southern approach of Lysychansk in intelligence assessments Thursday.
“Some Ukrainian units have withdrawn, probably to avoid being encircled,”The statement was as follows: “Russia’s improved performance in this sector is likely a result of recent unit reinforcement and heavy concentration of fire.”
Ukraine’s military said the Russians were also moving to overtake the hills overlooking a highway linking Lysychansk with Bakhmut, to the southwest, in an attempt to cut the supply lines of Ukrainian forces.
Haidai said the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway wasn’t being used because of heavy Russian shelling and the Ukrainian forces are getting supplies via an alternative route.
Following a humiliating defeat outside the Ukrainian capital in the early stage of the invasion on Feb. 24, Russian forces have shifted focus to Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland of Donbas, where the Ukrainian forces have fought Moscow-backed separatists since 2014.
The Russian military is currently in control of approximately 95% and 50% of Luhansk, respectively.
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Dmitry Peskov (Kremlin spokesperson) answered reporters when asked how the prospect of reaching a political agreement. “it’s possible after Ukraine meets all the Russian demands,”Add that “Ukraine knows perfectly well what they are.”
The Kremlin has previously demanded that Ukraine accept Russia’s sovereignty over the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow stole in 2014, and acknowledge the independence of the separatist regions in the east. Moscow also has noted that Ukraine should recognize the situation on the ground, an apparent reference to other land gains that Russia has made in Ukraine’s south where it captured the Kherson region and part of the Zaporizhzhia region.
A Ukrainian politician and TV personality says an online fundraising pitch aimed to help Ukraine buy three offensive drones has already drummed up $10.4 million — in just 24 hours.
Serhiy Prytula credited “amazing”After his charity foundation raised $15 million earlier, support was shown by Ukrainians for purchasing Bayraktar drones. These are the same ones that Ukrainian forces used against Russian invasions.
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He tweets: “4,6m $ to go. The People’s Bayraktar project is already a nationwide crowdfunding. Let’s turn it into international!”
European Union leaders meeting in Brussels appeared on track to make Ukraine a candidate to join the 27-member bloc, which could take time — not least because of the impact of the war, but a vast rulebook to abide by too.
It’s unlikely that accession talks could start before next year, and joining the EU would not confer any security guarantees like membership in NATO — which has also been sought by Kyiv, over the stiff opposition of Putin’s government — would.
Numerous EU diplomats spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity before the leaders’ summit, said Ukraine will receive the unanimous approval required to become a candidate and for the launch of discussions toward accession.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Thursday that her country is offering its expertise to help protect Ukraine’s ports and the safe passage of vessels for the export of Ukrainian grain.
Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn, and sunflower oil. Russia’s unprovoked invasion and a blockade of Ukraine’s ports have halted much of that flow and left millions of tons of grain stuck in silos, endangering food supplies to many developing countries, especially in Africa.
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“It’s urgent that action is taken within the next month ahead of the new harvest, and we’re determined to work with our allies to deliver this,”Truss spoke at a news conference together with Mevlut Cavrusoglu, her Turkish counterpart. They were visiting Ankara for discussions about ways to end the blockade.
Turkey is seeking to bring together Russia, the United Nations and Ukraine in order to create a U.N. plan to allow safe shipping of agricultural products to Ukrainian ports. Cavusoglu indicated that there might be a potential deal. “safe zone” just outside of Ukraine’s territorial waters.
Volodymyr Zeleskyy, the Ukrainian president, said that Russia destroyed more than 2000 schools and kindergartens during the war.
In a video address to students and faculty at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, Zelenskyy said that in areas where Russian troops made quick advances, “forces were shooting people on the streets, they are torturing people, they are raping minors — boys and girls.”
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Zelenskyy also voiced disappointment that Israel hadn’t joined Western-led sanctions against Russia or provided Ukraine with military aid to give its forces a boost in the war.
For security coordination in Syria where Russia has troops, Israel relies upon good relations with Russia. Israel also carries out regular strikes on enemy targets. It sent humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
This article was contributed by the Associated Press
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